UPDATE 5/27/14: Turns out Alfonso Cuarón has not lined up any new projects to direct. After Gravity, he's a bit burned out on big special effects movies, so he's apparently not interested in the Harry Potter spin-off. He's also apparently clueless about The Shining prequel he was rumored for as well. So, sorry Cuarón fans, you're going to have to wait a while to find out what he's doing next.
Previously 5/20/14: The Potterverse is aflutter after news that author J.K. Rowling’s 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being adapted for the big screen. Equally awesome is that Rowling herself will be penning the screenplay. This will be the first film in a megamovie series planned by Warner Bros. that is set in the world of Harry Potter, 70 years before the boy wizard and his pals arrived on the scene.
Now comes word from Nikki Finke that Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón may be heading up the spin-off, which will be focused on "magizoologist" Newt Scamander — the fictional author of the book. He’s reportedly “deep in talks” to direct Fantastic Beasts. Potter fans adored Cuarón’s 2004 chapter in the boy-wizard film series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. As review site Rotten Tomatoes put it, the story “[struck] a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.” There isn’t much being said about the actual plotline of the new film just yet — which Rowling indicates will neither be a prequel nor a sequel — but here’s what she revealed about her part in the picture:
It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set for a November 18, 2016 release.
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