It’s not another “Harry Potter” sequel — I think that train has left Hogwarts Station, so to speak — but J.K. Rowling is back in the movie business. Warner Bros. announced today that she will write the screenplay for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the first in a planned series of films inspired by creatures and characters from the Potter universe. “Fantastic Beasts” is based on a Hogwarts textbook that appears in a reading list in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” and will feature that textbook’s author, Newt Scamander. In a press release, Rowling said, “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”
No director or production date has been announced yet for the film. Meanwhile, a BBC television adaptation of Rowling’s non-Potter novel “The Casual Vacancy” has been announced, to begin production in 2014.