Harry Potter Spin-off FANTASTIC BEASTS to be Directed by Franchise Director David Yates

The director of the last four Harry Potter movies, David Yates, is coming back to direct the spin-off film that Warner Bros. has planned called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The studio announced the new Harry Potter universe project last September, and J.K. Rowling is currently writing the screenplay for it. The story will be a trilogy set seven decades before Harry Potter’s adventure ever begins, and it's based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same name and will follow the adventures of its author, Newt Scamander. When talking about the film, Rowling said,

“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, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

The news of Yates involvement comes from Variety, who makes a point of saying no deal has been made, but insiders confirm both sides are in negotiations. Sources also confirm the director has agreed to make the film. The studio obviously wanted to go with someone who was familiar with the franchise. They were also in talks with Alfonso Cuaron, who helmed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but he ultimately passed on it. 

Yates is currently directing Tarzan, which will be in production until November. After that he'll start developing Fantastic Beasts. The first film in the planned trilogy is scheduled to hit theaters on November 18th, 2016.

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