Magical ‘Creatures’ at Warner Bros.

Studio looks to LaGravenese for another wizard franchise

With Harry Potter ready to graduate from Hogwarts, Warner Bros. has gone back to the cauldron to stir up another coming-of-age wizard franchise.

Studio has acquired “Beautiful Creatures,” the first of a five-novel series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl that’s being published todayby Little, Brown. Richard LaGravenese is set to write the script and direct the film.

Erwin Stoff will produce.

In the first book, high-school student Ethan Wate meets and becomes bewitched by Lena Duchannes, a 16-year-old whose family has moved to the small South Carolina town where he lives. The two must confront a curse that has haunted her family for generations as she comes to grips with her powers.

While LaGravenese has written-directed several female-centric films, including “P.S. I Love You,” this is his first film foray into the magical-mystical realm.

“I love supernatural stories that have well-drawn mythologies, and I liked that this book has all the basic elements of a classic first love story with a supernatural layer over it,” LaGravenese said. “So the first time they hear the words ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend,’ they accidentally overhear each other telepathically. Their first kiss comes after he saves her life, and their first date is part of a bigger adventure that leads to the unraveling of the mysterious curse that haunts her family.”

LaGravenese most recently scripted “Water for Elephants,” an adaptation of the Sara Gruen novel for Fox 2000 with Francis Lawrence directing and Reese Witherspoon attached to star, and “Liberace,” the Steven Soderbergh-directed pic that has Michael Douglas and Matt Damon attached. Both films are on track to begin production next year.

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