Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts Movie Release Date Set For November 2016

As half the Harry Potter films made their debut in November, that seems like a fitting month for J.K. Rowling's world to be revisited, as Warner Bros. has set the release date for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them for late November in 2016.

Fantastic Beasts -- the first in what is said to be a trilogy of "three mega-movies" -- will arrive in theaters November 18, 2016. At present, according to Box Office Mojo, the only films scheduled for November 2016 are Fox's troll origin story Trolls (11/4/16) and a yet-to-be-titled Disney Animation film (11/23/16), but given how far away the date is, there's plenty of time for the schedule to fill up for other features aiming to get into theaters just in time for Thanksgiving (11/24/16).

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is actually penning the screenplay for the feature adaptation of her book Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. The reference guide recounts the findings of fictional magical beasts expert Newt Scamander, who will be at the center of this film, which was first announced last fall.

The story will begin in New York, seventy years before Harry Potter's arrival at Hogwarts. Details about the plot are slim right now, but those interested in theorizing need only to read Fantastic Beasts, which lists of the many magical beasts, many of which were featured at some point or another in the Harry Potter books and films. That includes gnomes, basilisks, centaurs, ghouls and a number of dragon breeds. With that in mind, factoring the lead character's efforts to study the many magical creatures, some of which are likely to be very dangerous, there's potential for a thrilling story here, not to mention a prime opportunity to revisit Rowling's world.

We're left to speculate over everything else, including the full plot of the film, since the source material only offers clues, at best. There's also the casting to consider. Who will play Newt? What other characters will be involved? Will Newt encounter Albus Dumbledore at some point? Believe it or not, Dumbledore would've been alive and well seventy years before Harry Potter arrived at Hogwarts, so it's not out of the question, right?

As mentioned, four of the eight original Harry Potter films made their theatrical debuts in November: Philosopher's Stone (Book 1), Chamber of Secrets (Book 2), Goblet of Fire (Book 4), Deathly Hallows Part 1 (the first half of Book 7). Prisoner of Azkaban had a May release and the other three movies came out in July. Summer might have been the obvious guess for Fantastic Beasts given the fan base for Harry Potter, but November has also worked out really well for the franchise, and the same may be the case for this spinoff.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.