Although neither party has officially put quill to paper, David Yates is in talks with Warner Brothers to direct the first installment of J.K. Rowling‘s newest film adaptation.
Yates, who seems born to work in Rowling’s magical universe, directed four of the Harry Potter films, including both installments of The Deathly Hallows. A director like Yates on board would ensure artistic continuity for fans who are eager to return to Potter’s world but nervous about doing so without the young wizard and other beloved characters.
Inspired by a Hogwarts textbook of the same name, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place 70 years before the Harry Potter series begins and follows the adventures of Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist,” who is devoted to the study of magical creatures.
Rowling released the book in 2001 as a supplemental text to the Potter series. The book was packaged to look like Harry Potter’s personal textbook from his first year at Hogwarts and focuses mostly on the magical creatures that inhabit the Potterverse. Scamander, the textbook’s author, claims to have first-hand knowledge of each creature listed, having traveled for years over several continents doing research.
The film will undoubtedly contain plenty of magical CGI creatures for audiences to “ooh” and “ahh” and “eek!” over.
Potter fans shouldn’t get too revved up about the book’s Hogwarts connection, though. Rowling was careful to remind audiences that although Fantastic Beasts occupies the same wizarding world as Harry Potter, it is “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series but an extension of the wizarding world” — which means no Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson or Rupert Grint in this series.
Fantastic Beasts marks the first time Rowling herself will have adapted one of her books for film, making the pairing with a veteran Potter director like Yates especially exciting.
As for the much-anticipated role of Newt Scamander, we can only wait with bated breath to see who’s cast.