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J.K. Rowling to write movie screenplay for extension of the wizarding world

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 4:17 p.m. MDT

A Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, file photo of British author J.K. Rowling as she poses for the photographers during photo call to unveil her book titled A Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012, file photo of British author J.K. Rowling as she poses for the photographers during photo call to unveil her book titled "The Casual Vacancy" at the Southbank Centre in London. J.K. Rowling's world of wizardry is coming back to the big screen but without Harry Potter. Warner Bros. announced Thursday, Sept. 12, that Rowling will write the screenplay for a movie based on "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," her textbook to the magical universe she created in the Potter stories. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File) (Lefteris Pitarakis, Associated Press)

For many Harry Potter fans, Warner Brothers’ announcement that author J.K. Rowling's will write a screenplay for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” an addition to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, was magical.

“Oh, I can hardly wait!” Muhammad Saifullah Khan wrote on the Harry Potter Facebook page about the news. “So glad that the magic continues.”

The film will not continue the Harry Potter story; rather, it follows the adventures of a former Hogwarts headmaster, Newt Scamander, who wrote the wizard textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which is used as the movie's title.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 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,” Rowling said in a statement. "The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets under way."

Other fans wish Rowling would create either a prequel or sequel to the Harry Potter series rather than work on an extension.

“I think stopping Harry Potter after the last movie was a mistake. They are just now grown and out of school, (and) now should be when the real problems of being a witch or wizard start to turn up because of all the adventure possibilities, now that they can use magic out of school,” Rob Mcguire wrote on the J.K. Rowling Facebook page. “As kids (the book series) should've just been the start of the adventures to come as adults.”

The movie will be Rowling’s first screenplay. Her book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was published in 2001.

Abby Stevens is a writer for the DeseretNews.com Faith and Family sections. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University–Idaho. Contact Abby at astevens@deseretdigital.com.

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