"Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling has signed a deal with Warner Bros. to write a screenplay for a new film set in the Harry Potter universe, based on her side novel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Though it will take place in the same reality as the previous Harry Potter films, this film will center around the book's fictional author, Newt Scamander, and takes place 70 years prior to the adventures of Harry Potter.  Rowling had always intended to revisit her world of witches and wizards, but only for a project that really excited her.

"Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world," Rowling said. "The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt's story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry's gets underway."

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first referenced as a text book used by the students of Hogwarts for the class "Care of Magical Creatures", later being fleshed by Rowling as a stand-alone book for the British charity "Comic Relief", complete with doodles and notes from Harry, Ron, and Hermione.

via CBS News