J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off to be adapted into film trilogy

J.K. Rowling reads to the public from a Harry Potter book. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Harry Potter fans are buzzing with excitement after news surfaced that J.K. Rowling's wizard universe spin-off book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be adapted into a big-budget movie trilogy.

Speaking to the New York Times recently, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed that three movies are slated to be produced from the material and that Rowling herself will be writing the screenplay, the first time she has done so.

The story begins in New York about 70 years prior to the adventures of Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest of the Hogwart's gang, starring a "magizoologist" named Newt Scamander. The book itself is credited to Scamander (although really written by Rowling) and is actually referenced as a textbook Harry uses in the first novel of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Fantastic Beasts
was published in 2001 following the release of Rowling's fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The same year, Rowling released another Potter companion book, Quidditch Through the Ages. Sales from both books went to U.K.-based charity Comic Relief.

Rowling, who struggled to make ends meet as a single mother in the early 1990s, has certainly pressed on with the post-Potter part of her career. Here's a quick list of highlights in the past few years:

September 2012:

Rowling releases her first post-Potter novel aimed at adults, The Casual Vacancy. It sells more than 1 million copies worldwide within the first few weeks. A couple months later, it is announced that the BBC will develop The Casual Vacancy in collaboration with Rowling as a television series to air in 2014.

April 2013:

Rowling releases The Cuckoo's Calling, her first crime novel, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. It was a well-received "debut," but not a commercial success.

July 2013:

Rowling's identity as Galbraith was leaked online by a woman who learned the secret through a London lawyer. The story quickly grows and The Cuckoo's Calling shoots up the bestseller lists, with sales growing as much as 4,000 per cent. For her part, Rowling expressed disappointment that her identity had been revealed, saying she wanted to see how the book performed without everyone knowing it was her. However, she confirmed she would continue writing crime novels as Robert Galbraith.

June 2014:

Rowling will release the second Robert Galbraith novel, titled The Silkworm.