Director David Yates is to reconnect with the world of Harry Potter as news was announced that he is to direct Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, according to Variety. The project is the first part of a spin-off trilogy from the Potter series, also authored by J.K. Rowling.

David Yates Fantastic Beasts
David Yates will direct the first of the three Fantastic Beasts films

Yates represents a very safe pair of hands for the project, as he directed the last four of the eight Harry Potter movies. Although no deal has been confirmed, insiders believe that both sides are in contractual negotiations.

Fantastic Beasts is set in New York about seventy years before the Harry Potter chronology begins. It follows the adventures of Newt Scamander, the author of the ‘Fantastic Beasts…’ textbook of the same name that serves as a compendium of all of the mystical beasts that inhabit the Potter universe.

No names have yet been mentioned for who’s going to play the part, but it’s certainly the most high-profile available role going in the industry. Daniel Radcliffe has not been approached to play the role, although the smart betting might be on him making some sort of brief cameo appearance.

More: Daniel Radcliffe opens up about his feelings towards the Harry Potter films

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen 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 explained about the new trilogy.

The first instalment of the spin-off trilogy is mooted for a release on 18th November 2016, and will be backed by Warner Bros. studios. The original series of eight films grossed more than $7 billion worldwide, making it the most lucrative franchise of all time.