Fantastic Beasts begins filming, casting news announced

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has begun principal production at Leavesden Studios, Warner Bros. announced today.

Though the film starts out in New York City, production kicked off in England at the same studio where the Harry Potter series was made. The movie brings together the same key people who worked on Potter, with David Yates directing and David Heyman producing. Author J.K. Rowling, who also helmed the screenplay, is overseeing production with some creative control.

Though not too much is known about the plot, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will follow magizoologist Newt Scamander as he ventures throughout the wizarding world encountering various magical creatures, the experience on which he will base his book, Fantastic Beasts. The movie will serve as a prequel of the Harry Potter story, starting out 70 years earlier than Harry, in the 1920s.

Warner Bros. also confirmed the actors who have been cast in the production. In addition to Eddie Redmayne as the lead Newt Scamander, Katherine Watson will star as Tina Goldstein, Newt’s wife; Alison Sudol as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Dan Folger as Jacob; Ezra Miller as Credence; Samantha Morton as Mary Lou; Jenn Murray as Chasity; Colin Farrell as Graves; and newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty.

Fantastic Beasts will be the first in a trilogy, hitting theaters November 18, 2016.

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Cover art + publication date of Robert Galbraith’s third novel announced

J.K. Rowling helped out her friend Robert Galbraith today in announcing the publication date and cover art of his upcoming third novel.

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Career of Evil will be published on October 20 in the United States and October 22 in the United Kingdom. It will be the third novel in the Cormoran Strike series written by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. Last year, The Silkworm was published to much praise, and The Cuckoo’s Calling received likewise response in 2013.

Both U.S. (left) and U.K. (right) cover images.

Both U.S. (left) and U.K. (right) cover images.

The book will be priced at £20 for Hardback and £10.99 for the ebook.

Here is the synopsis:

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

Career of Evil is the third in the highly acclaimed series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, it is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives.

Will you be purchasing Career of Evil? Have you enjoyed the Cormoran Strike series so far? Tell us in the comments below. Click here for more news regarding Robert Galbraith.

Eddie Redmayne confirmed to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts

Via ET online

Eddie Redmayne — pic via ET online

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne will play Newt Scamander in the upcoming film adaption of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros. confirmed today.

The confirmation today comes after months of speculation of who would play Newt. Redmayne will play the famed Scamander, a magizoologist who discovers a number of magical creatures, leading to a documentation of his travels in the form of Fantastic Beasts.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling published a version of the book as part of the Hogwarts Library Collection in 2001 for charity.

From the press release, David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, stated, “Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”

Over the past few years, Eddie Redmayne has rose to prominence with roles in the 2012 musical film Les Miserables and My Week with Mairlyn. Redmayne garnered international praise for his performance as Stephen Hawking in last year’s The Theory of Everything, for which he won an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters worldwide in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

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Bloomsbury reveals new image from Harry Potter illustrated edition

Bloomsbury Publishing revealed a new image from the upcoming illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, out this fall.

In the picture, illustrated by artist Jim Kay, Harry Potter is seen in the cupboard under the stairs of the Dursley’s home, Harry’s iconic home nest as a child.

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In March, Bloomsbury revealed the cover art for the book, featuring the Hogwarts Express and Platform Nine and Three-Quarters.

Harry Potter and the Philsopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling featuring art by Jim Kay, is published worldwide on October 6, 2015.

J.K. Rowling to publish new Cormoran Strike novel under Robert Galbraith this year

JKR promoting her Robert Galbraith novel, 'The Silkworm' last summer.

JKR promoting her Robert Galbraith novel, ‘The Silkworm’ last summer.

On Friday, J.K. Rowling announced on Twitter as her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith, that she finished writing the third Cormoran Strike novel.

The book will be titled Career of Evil, to be published this autumn by Little, Brown.The publisher confirmed the news, commenting that more will be announced soon about the book.

The book’s title is a reference to the eponymous song by the band Blue Oyster Cult. This fact was properly submitted (or Googled) by a lucky fan on Twitter, who won a signed copy of the book by Robert Galbraith. Click here to listen to the song and play close attention to its lyrical content (you never know what clues are hiding in them for the book’s plot).

This will be J.K. Rowling’s third book as Robert Galbraith, the first two being The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. For more information about the Cormoran Strike series, click here.

The Harry Potter author summed up her feelings about finishing writing the book with this tweet:

We’ll keep you updated on all details about the new book, so check back soon.

Are you excited for Career of Evil? Tell us in the comments below!

J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement address to be published in 2015

vgljkrJ.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard University commencement address will be published in an illustrated hardback by Little, Brown on April 14, 2015.

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination will include the author’s speech alongside illustrations by artist Joel Holland. Holland previously worked on the cover for J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy.

In the speech, J.K. Rowling discusses the struggles she faced in her post-graduate years and how she overcame hardship. The commencement speech is available to watch on YouTube here.

From the press release:

Now published for the first time in book form, Very Good Lives offers J.K. Rowling’s words of wisdom for anyone at a turning point in life, asking the profound and provocative questions: How can we embrace failure? And how can we use our imagination to better both ourselves and others?

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust said, “I have heard and read many commencement speeches, none more moving and memorable than J.K. Rowling’s. Years after her visit to Harvard, people still talk about it—and still find inspiration in her singular evocation of the idea that living a meaningful life so often means daring to risk failure.  What a powerful example she embodies, and what a remarkable gift her speech was, and is, for all of us privileged to hear it then—and to read it now.”

90% percent of the book’s proceeds will go to J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, which helps disadvantaged children. The remaining 10% will be donated to university-wide financial aid at Harvard University. Little, Brown Book Group (UK) and Little, Brown & Company (US) are also making a donation to Lumos, which is currently undergoing a

Very Good Lives will be published worldwide in English next April, as a £9.99 (~$15-16) hardback and in e-book. It is not currently available for pre-order.

Fantastic Beasts to be directed by David Yates

fantasticbeastscoverDavid Yates, who previously directed the last four Harry Potter movies, is set to return to the world of Harry Potter to direct Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Yates’ involvement was previously rumored but it was confirmed today by Warner Bros. C.E.O. Kevin Tsujihara at an investment meeting. Yates will be working closely again with the whole Harry Potter filmmaking team, including producer David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and J.K. Rowling, who will be making her screenwriting debut with the film. As previously announced, the films will be a trilogy released in 2016, 2018, and 2020. The films’ storyline has been adapted from J.K. Rowling’s companion book to the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

From the press release:

The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”   Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

In other news regarding Fantastic Beasts, last week J.K. Rowling teased her Twitter followers with an anagram that turned out to be the opening line of a synopsis for the first Fantastic Beasts film.

The tweets made garnered attention around the world and gave us our first clue into what will happen during the movie. Check out the author’s Twitter for the whole story.

Are you surprised David Yates is directing the films? Would you have preferred a new perspective to Harry’s world? Tell us in the comments below!

‘Fantastic Beasts’ series to film at Leavesden Studios

Leavesden Studios, U.K.

Leavesden Studios, U.K.

Warner Bros. confirmed last week that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will film at Leavesden Studios, where the Harry Potter series was filmed.

Though the new films will begin in New York, the series will be shot at Leavesden near London, the same studio where the Harry Potter series was filmed for 10 years. After filming was completed for Harry Potter, Warner Bros. purchased the studios and opened the Harry Potter Studio Tour, featuring sets from the Potter movies.

Not much is known about the series besides that it will follow the story of Newt Scamander. First announced last September, Fantastic Beasts will be penned by first-time screenwriter J.K. Rowling. In the wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a required Hogwarts textbook written by magizoologist Newt Scamander. J.K. Rowling published the real Fantastic Beasts book as a companion to the Harry Potter series for charity in 2001.

Related: J.K. Rowling to make screenwriting debut on ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ adaption

The announcement that Fantastic Beasts filming at Leavesden comes after Warner Bros. recent statement that it would expand the Leavesden complex. The Hollywood Reporter reports WB is planning three “new state-of-the-art stages” and the addition of a further 100,000 square feet of office space.

Fantastic Beasts will be produced by David Heyman, who also produced Harry Potter. The first film in an expected trilogy will be released on November 18, 2016. No director or cast has been named yet, but Pottermore News will keep you updated with the latest.

‘Fantastic Beasts’ series’ first film to be released November 18, 2016

Warner Bros. has set a release date of the first film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series: November 18, 2016.

The film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling’s companion book to the Harry Potter series, was announced last September. The screenplay will be written by J.K. Rowling, and will take place 70 years prior to the Harry Potter books, in New York. The film series will follow the life of Newt Scamander, the renowned wizard who devoted his life to the study of magical creatures.

Warner Bros. has yet to announce a director or any casting details, but we’ll keep you informed with the latest over the coming weeks and months.

‘Fantastic Beasts’ film series planned to be a trilogy

In a new interview with the New York TimesWarner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed that three movies are planned for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series.

Announced last September, Fantastic Beasts will be scripted by the Harry Potter author herself, J.K. Rowling. The series will be based off of Rowling’s 2001 book of the same name, and will be set about seventy years before the Harry Potter books, in New York.

This week, we learned more about the film project from Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara’s interview with the New York Times, including that the series will be a trilogy.

From the article:

…His deft touch became clear to Hollywood’s creative community last September. That is when Warner announced that Ms. Rowling had agreed to adapt for the big screen her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a 2001 book billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

J.K. Rowling was also quoted in the article about Tsujihara’s convincing to get her to sign on to the films.

Convincing the famously independent Ms. Rowling to dive back into film was a coup. “When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Ms. Rowling said in response to emailed questions. “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!”

She added, “When Kevin got the top job, he brought a new energy, which rubbed off. He’s a very engaging person, thoughtful and funny.”

No news on casting or a release date have been announced yet for the project, but we’ll keep you up with the latest.