By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 12, 2013 at 11:28AM
Warner Bros. has announced an expanded creative partnership with "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling. She will make her screenwriting debut with "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," the first in a planned series of new films, inspired by Harry Potter's Hogwarts textbook.
The original story will center on the adventures of the textbook's fictitious author, Newt Scamander, and start in New York, seventy years before Harry's story begins. It will be set in the wizarding world and, per WB, some of its characters will be familiar to Harry Potter fans.
To that end, Rowling states: “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series... 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...”
"Fantastic Beasts" will also be developed across the studio's video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses.