‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Will Be 5 Movies

J.K. Rowling announced expansion from planned movie trilogy at fan event Thursday

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will expand from a three-movie franchise to five movies, author and screenwriter J.K. Rowling announced Thursday at a fan event broadcast worldwide on the internet.

The first film, due in theaters next month set in the same universe as “Harry Potter,” takes place in 1920s New York and stars Eddie Redmayne as a British magizoologist named Newt Scamander who travels across the pond to hunt for magical creatures.

Producer David Heyman also teased that several characters from the Harry Potter films, including Aldus Dumbledore and Grendel, would play roles in “Fantastic Beasts” — and that the second film in the series would be set in another major world city with different magical creatures.

Moreover, at the event, audiences got to watch a ten-minute clip of Newt arriving in New York and Percival Graves (Farrell) investigating a collapsed building destroyed by a magical creature. Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard who was friends with Dumbledore, will play a major role in the movie. The film opens with several newspaper headlines about Grindelwald attacking wizards.

Cast members Colin Farrell and Jon Voight participated in the fan event from Los Angeles, while David Yates, Heyman, Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol were at the London fan event.

Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film, which is set in the same universe as “Harry Potter.” Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” films, is directing this project.

It is based on a book of the same name by J.K. Rowling, which was a mock textbook about magical creatures. In the “Harry Potter” series, the book was required reading for Hogwarts students.

Tim Lewis is executive producing the new film. Rowling is also serving as a producer, along with Neil Blair, Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will hit theaters on Nov. 18.

Watch the announcement above.

Jeremy Fuster contributed to this report.