David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter movies, has agreed to direct the first film in the J.K. Rowling-penned spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, according to a report from Variety.

Set in the Wizarding World, the spin-off was first announced by Warner Bros. last September. “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,” said Rowling in the original announcement. The author herself wrote the script after Warners agreed to give her complete creative control over the film.

According to the source, the studio always wanted the project to be directed by someone who was familiar with the Harry Potter universe. They first approached Alfonso Cuarón, who helmed Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004, but just coming off a 5-year process of VFX making for his award-winning Gravity, the Mexican director declined the offer. ““It was a very beautiful experience for me. I love that universe and I admire J.K. Rowling tremendously, but right now I’m not interested in projects that are based around a lot of visual effects,” said Cuarón back in May.

David Yates was a no brainer for the studio. Having directed the last four Harry Potter films, he’s obviously an expert in Harry Potter lore. If anything, we are surprised he agreed to yet another wizarding world project. A deal has not yet been reached, but Yates is already on board and both sides are in negotiations.

The first Fantastic Beasts is scheduled to premiere on November 18, 2016. The sequels are rumored to be hitting theaters on Nov. 2018 and Nov. 2020.

Harry Potter producer David Heyman is back to produce the new series.

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