New Harry Potter-inspired films in the works

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Rowling at an appearance to promote her latest book The Casual Vacancy. (Photo by Dan Hallman/Invision/AP)

Warner Brothers has just announced it is partnering with J.K. Rowling to make a series of films inspired by Harry Potter, the Atlantic Wire reports. The first in the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will mark Rowling's screenwriting debut. The movie is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but instead "an extension of the wizarding world" said Rowling in a statement.

The story is inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and follows the adventures of Newt Scamander, the fictitious author of the book. Rowling wrote a version of the textbook back in 2001 that was released for charity.

"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," Rowling said. But she added that the timing is a little different. "Newt's story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry's gets underway."

According to the Warner Bros. press release, Fantastic Beasts "will also be developed across the Studio's video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowling's digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories."