Warner Bros. Pictures confirmed Wednesday that the second movie in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” series is in the works, with J.K. Rowling writing the script and David Yates directing. It is slated for worldwide release on Nov. 16, 2018.
Yates directed the final four Harry Potter films and the first “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” movie, which comes out Nov. 18. The second film will also reunite producers David Heyman, Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Rowling’s agent, Neil Blair, Rick Senat and Danny Cohen will serve as executive producers.
“Fantastic Beasts” centers on Newt Scamander, a character mentioned only in passing in Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and tells a story set decades before that series. Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne plays Scamander. In all, three “Fantastic Beasts” films are planned, with the last in the trilogy expected to come out in November 2020.
The second film “moves deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes have to decide on their allegiances,” Warner Bros. said in a statement Wednesday.
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The “Fantastic Beasts” franchise plays a major role in Rowling’s fast-expanding “Wizarding World” brand. This includes the new two-part play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which has just opened to rave reviews and a sold-out run in London; the script of the play, just published, has already seen unprecedented sales for a script book.
Other parts of the Wizarding World empire include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme-parks at Universal Studios in Orlando, Hollywood, and Osaka, Japan, and “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter.”
“There is much more on the horizon,” Warner Bros. said.