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J.K. Rowling (Pic: BBC)
J.K. Rowling (Pic: BBC)

We’re still a long way off the release date of the first film in J.K Rowling‘s planned trilogy of Harry Potter spinoffs Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but it was announced over the weekend that when the films are ready to begin shooting, they’ll do so at the Potter series’ traditional home of Warner Studios Leavesden.

Fantastic Beasts was originally written by Rowling as a short book to raise funds for the U.K. charity Comic Relief in 2001, but is being used as the inspiration for the new trilogy of films, whose story will take place seventy years prior to Harry Potter. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut with the first movie, and although the story will be set in New York, Warner Bros have elected to continue the series’ association with their Hertfordshire-based studio. The announcement was made by U.K. culture secretary Sajid Javid at a creative industries event in London.

'Fantastic Beasts' at Universal Orlando Resort (Pic: Arthur Levine / USA Today)
‘Fantastic Beasts’ at Universal Orlando Resort (Pic: Arthur Levine / USA Today)

On a related note, USA Today have been given an advance look at the new Diagon Alley installation at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, and managed to snap what they think might be the first look at how some of the Fantastic Beasts may look. While there’s no indication that the beasts in the movie will necessarily resemble those seen here, the models in the “Magical Menagerie” shop nevertheless represent the first time any of the creatures from Rowling’s book have been realized visually.

The first Fantastic Beasts film is due for release in November 2016, although no cast or crew details besides Rowling herself have yet been announced.

Have you read Fantastic Beasts? Are you looking forward to the film?

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By Seb Patrick