Harry Potter Spinoff Starts Shooting Today

"Exciting," J.K. Rowling says.

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Warner Bros. on Monday announced that its upcoming Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has officially started production. Principal photography began today at the Warner Bros. production studios in Leavesden, UK, the company said in a news release.

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The movie is being directed by Harry Potter veteran David Yates, and stars Eddie Redmayne as the protagonist, New Scamander, the "wizarding world's preeminent magizoologist." Redmayne won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in last year's The Theory of Everything.

Scamander, a character created by J.K. Rowling, traveled the world and documented his findings in the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them. His adventure will be the basis for the upcoming movie, set--at least in part--in New York 70 years before the events of Harry Potter.

Rowling makes her screenwriting debut with the movie. "Exciting," she said on Twitter about today's news.

Other actors appearing in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them include Colin Farrel (True Detective), Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Alison Sudol (Transparent), Dan Fogler (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Ezra Miller (Trainwreck), Samantha Morton (Sweet and Lowdown), Jenn Murray (Brooklyn), and newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove

Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them will open in theaters on November 18, 2016. When the movie was originally announced in September 2013, Warner Bros. also said game adaptations were in the works. However, no games based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have been announced so far.

Video games based on the popular Harry Potter films were developed and published by Electronic Arts. It is unclear if Warner Bros. will develop the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them games internally through its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment label or license them out.

The most recent Harry Potter game was 2012's Kinect-required Harry Potter for Kinect.

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