J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter spin off ‘Fantastic Beasts’ has been granted a release date. It’ll hit cinemas in late November 2016 as the first in the trilogy rooted in the ‘Potterverse’ is unleashed.

Jk RowlingJ.K Rowling's Potter universe lives on with 'Fantastic Beasts'

Kicking off in New York, the movies will take place 70 years before the Harry Potter story begins. This is part of a huge three-movie deal a la The Hobbit, and is one of the first projects green-lighted by Kevin Tsujihara, the man who took over as CEO of Warner Bros. 

“When I say he made 'Fantastic Beasts' happen, it isn't P.R.-speak but the literal truth," Rowling said according to The Times regarding Tsujihara’s influence on the project. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I'd thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”

Rowling has tried her hand at writing for adults since the last Harry Potter film – the eight in a mammoth series of blockbusters – to great success. ‘A Casual Vacancy’ was a bestseller, and has been confirmed for a small-screen adaptation via HBO and The BBC.

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The Potter universe, though, will always be her most seminal work, and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ handed her the opportunity to revisit that world. “To be honest, it was seventeen years [since she started writing Harry Potter]. And now I’m back there. In a very different way, it’s different characters, but it is the same world. I think part of me will forever live there. I’m not sorry about that,” she explained in an interview. 

Featuring gnomes, basilisks, centaurs, ghouls and a number of dragon breeds, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ is lead by Newt Scamander, the casting of which will surely dominate news surrounding the franchise in the months to come.