You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Warner-J.K. Rowling partnership will include new film

J.K. Rowling will write the screenplay for the film adaptation of her new book.

Lefteris Pitarakis /AP

J.K. Rowling will write the screenplay for the film adaptation of her new book.

LOS ANGELES — Warner Brothers is doubling down on the J.K. Rowling business. The studio, whose blockbuster “Harry Potter” films have generated billions of dollars for the company, announced Thursday that it had concluded a deal with Rowling that will include new movies, distribution rights to a television miniseries, and new theme park attractions.

The studio said it had entered an agreement under which Rowling, who wrote the “Harry Potter” books, will become a screenwriter for the first time, working on an adaptation of her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a book that extends the world of wizardry in the Potter series. In a statement, Warner said the movie would become the first in a planned film series.

Continue reading below

The studio also said the agreement would permit new attractions and initiatives connected with its existing “Harry Potter” theme park presence at the Universal Studios parks.

In television, the deal makes Warner the global distributor of a BBC miniseries based on “The Casual Vacancy,” a Rowling novel that is aimed at adults.

The Rowling deal marks a significant step for Kevin Tsujihara, who was recently named chief executive of Warner, after a long, internal competition for a post being vacated by Barry Meyer. The “Harry Potter” film series, which Warner started in 2001 with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” has been a huge success for the company. The final film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” took in more than $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office after its release in 2011.

Rowling, who has become almost as closely associated with the studio as with her own books, said Warner executives had proposed the idea of a film based on “Fantastic Beasts,” and she counter-proposed that she should be the writer, though she has not previously written screenplays.

Rowling said she envisioned the film as “an extension of the wizarding world,” but not a prequel or sequel to the “Harry Potter” series.

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
Please enter a valid email will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of