“Fantastic Beasts” Screenplay to Be Published as a Book!

When it was announced that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was being made into a film series, fans soon realized that the new movies would bear little resemblance to the book of the same name that was published in 2001. Much of the community has been excited by the prospect of a Harry Potter universe film that isn’t adapted from a previously published book – if the story was originally intended for the screen, we don’t have to worry about them not getting our favorite parts right. Now, in an unexpected move, Pottermore has announced that Little, Brown UK and Scholastic will be publishing the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts as a book.

The book will be released in hardcover and e-book (Pottermore will publish the digital edition) on November 19, 2016 – just a day after Fantastic Beasts hits theaters. This announcement adds to the growing list of reasons why 2016 is set to be a banner year in Potter fandom. Not only do we have the first Fantastic Beasts film to look forward to, but we also have the West End debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the publication of the Cursed Child script, and the Jim Kay-illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

It’s extra exciting for fans that the script is penned by J.K. Rowling herself. Although she outlined the story for Cursed Child, the actual script was written by Jack Thorne, so the publication of the Fantastic Beasts screenplay marks the first time that readers will get to consume a new novel-length story by Rowling, set in Rowling’s wizarding world, since the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007.

Ellie Berger, President of Scholastic’s US Trade Division, said of the announcement,

With any new writing from J.K. Rowling, we know that we are not only engaging her vast fan base, but [we] are also building a new generation of readers. The much[-]anticipated release of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie marks another magical and exciting moment for film lovers and readers everywhere, and we are absolutely delighted to publish J.K. Rowling’s screenplay debut.

What do you think of this development? Do you think J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. have any more surprises in store for us this year?

Press Release

SCHOLASTIC TO PUBLISH J.K. ROWLING’S FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM SCREENPLAY IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA ON NOVEMBER 19, 2016

(New York, NY – April 26, 2016) Scholastic (NASDAQ:  SCHL), the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, announced today that it will publish the screenplay of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in the United States and Canada on November 19, 2016. Returning to her wizarding world, the all-new adventure film, which will release November 18, 2016, marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books.

The published screenplay (ISBN: 978-1-338-10906-1; All Ages; $24.99 U.S./$29.99 CDN) will be a hardcover. The ebook edition of the screenplay will be published by Pottermore, the global digital publisher of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, simultaneously with the print edition in collaboration with Scholastic in the U.S. and Canada and Little, Brown Book Group in the UK.

In making the announcement, Ellie Berger, President of Scholastic’s U.S. Trade Division, said, “With any new writing from J.K. Rowling, we know that we are not only engaging her vast fan base, but are also building a new generation of readers. The much anticipated release of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie marks another magical and exciting moment for film lovers and readers everywhere, and we are absolutely delighted to publish J.K. Rowling’s screenplay debut.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a feat of imagination and an exciting adventure featuring an array of magical creatures and characters. The film opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander, played by Academy Award-winner Eddie Redmayne, has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary collection of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident—were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical briefcase, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Scholastic published the seven Harry Potter novels in the U.S. between 1998 and 2007. The books have sold more than 160 million copies in the U.S., over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, translated into 79 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films.

In addition to writing the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling has collaborated on the stage play of the eighth story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which is a new play by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne. The play opens in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

Scholastic recently announced that it will publish the Special Rehearsal Edition Script of the stage play at 12:01 a.m. on July 31, 2016, simultaneously with Pottermore in the UK and US, and Little, Brown Books in the UK. This edition will only be available for a limited time, to be replaced by the Definitive Edition Script at a later date.
To learn more about titles from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, including the Harry Potter books, visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/harrypotter.

About the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film:

A new and original story by J.K. Rowling, the film was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by the author’s character Newt Scamander, the wizarding world’s preeminent Magizoologist.

Filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, home to the “Harry Potter” films for a decade, as well as on location in Liverpool, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first picture in a new film series.  Directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter movies, the film also reunites members of the team that brought us the eight Harry Potter blockbusters, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram.

About J.K. Rowling:

J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories, translated into 79 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films.

She has written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in aid of Comic Relief; and The Tales of Beedle the Bard in aid of her children’s charity Lumos.

In 2012, J.K. Rowling’s digital entertainment and e-commerce company Pottermore was launched, where fans can enjoy her new writing and immerse themselves deeper in the wizarding world.

Her first novel for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy, was published in September 2012 and adapted for TV by the BBC in 2015.  Her crime novels, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, were published in 2013 (The Cuckoo’s Calling), 2014 (The Silkworm) and 2015 (Career of Evil), and are to be adapted for a major new television series for BBC One, produced by Brontë Film and Television.

J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published in 2015 as an illustrated book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, and sold in aid of her charity Lumos and university–wide financial aid at Harvard.

About Scholastic:

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, a leading provider of print and digital instructional materials for pre-K to grade 12, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. The Company creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, classroom magazines and other products that, in combination, offer schools customized solutions to support children’s learning both at school and at home. The Company also makes quality, affordable books available to all children through school-based book clubs and book fairs. With a 95 year history of service to schools and families, Scholastic continues to carry out its commitment to “Open a World of Possible” for all children. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.