Hang on to your wands, Harry Potter fans. The much-anticipated return of J.K. Rowling’s magical world of wizards to the big screen now has an official release date.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will – if all goes as planned – be the first chapter in a brand new trilogy that kicks off November 18, 2016. Rowling herself will pen the screenplay for the film (and possibly the entire trilogy), which Warner Bros. is hoping to spin into a new franchise that will add to the impressive haul of the original, eight-film series.
While there has been no official word on the director of the film or its cast, the story is expected to focus on the adventures of “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, who has dedicated his life to the discovery and cataloguing of magical creatures. The series will be set at least 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series, in which the book Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them was one of the textbooks studied by Harry and his classmates at wizard school. A real-world version of the book was published in 2001 for fans of the series.
It’s worth noting that Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will hit theaters two days before the 15th-anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – the first film in the previous franchise.
“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,” Rowling wrote in a Facebook post last year about the project. “But Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”