After directing four out of eight Harry Potter movies for Warner Bros., David Yates has been chosen by the studio to direct the upcoming spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on a slim volume penned by J.K. Rowling to benefit the charity Comic Relief.
The spinoff, set 70 years before the Harry Potter series, won’t include characters from the original franchise and will instead focus on adventurer Newt Scamander. In the Potterverse, Scamander wrote a textbook titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is used by Hogwarts students. This spinoff, which is being eyed as a trilogy, will follow his journeys after he’s commissioned to write the textbook.
Before Yates got the gig, it had been rumored that Alfonso Cuaron would direct, though the Gravity filmmaker swiftly denied that he was involved. Yates is a natural pick to direct – he helmed the British miniseries State of Play and some TV movies before making his directorial debut on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After that successful film, he took on all subsequent Harry Potter entries, including Half Blood Prince and parts one and two of Deathly Hallows.
Now, internet speculation must turn to who will take on the role of Scamander. Check out our picks here, and let us know your own.
Production on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will kick off in New York when Rowling completes the screenplay. It’s been set for November 18th, 2016.