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Funny old breed, spin-offs. Many are complete disasters, whereas others make you wonder how on earth they ever managed to top their predecessors. It will be a big ask of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to outdo the Harry Potter series, but one thing we do now know is that the movie will be released in November 2016.

As spin-offs go, it’s as nailed-on for success as you’re ever likely to get. So that’s it. 2016. that’s all you need to know. Beasts will be top of the box office heap.

Ok, of course there’s always a chance that something better could come along. But it’s pretty safe to assume that, now the year has been confirmed, that the Olympic Games won’t be all that’s on people’s minds. Who knows, the dawn of Beasts could well be an event that has an opening ceremony all of its own.

As many a muggle can tell you, this new venture will in fact be the first of a trilogy. Just about any worth his or her salt can also tell you (and shame on you if you can’t) that Beasts is the textbook for wizards, written by ‘Magizoologist’ Newt Scamander. This is why JK Rowling has said that Beasts is “neither a prequel or sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

While Beasts will mark Rowling’s first foray into screenwriting, spin-offs and side projects are nothing new to her. In 2001 she wrote Quidditch Through The Ages, with The Tales of Beadle The Bard coming seven years later. For any of you under any misapprehensions, the story will be set 70 years before the coming of the boy wizard, so Harry, Hermione and company will be nowhere to be seen.

Fear not, however, because the foreword of the book was ‘written’ by Albus Dumbledore, so at least one old favourite could be joining the party. On that note, the countdown to 2016 is well and truly underway.

Sources: Sky, Sky, Metro
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