David Yates is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to direct the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,” according to Variety.
Yates previously directed “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and both parts of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Based on the 2001 in-fiction textbook by author J.K. Rowling, “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” will be set in New York, 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series.
It will focus on magical creatures and feature magizoologist Newt Scamander as a protagonist. The role has yet to be cast.
Having authored the original textbook and all seven books in the Harry Potter series, Rowling is also writing the screenplay for “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,” the first installment of a new trilogy.
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, ‘Fantastic Beasts & 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 production schedule for the film has yet to be finalized. If Yates is brought on to direct, it could conflict with his work on “Tarzan,” which is currently shooting through November.
“Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” will be released Nov. 18, 2016.