‘Harry Potter’ Alum To Direct Spin-Off ‘Fantastic Beasts’

David Yates will reportedly return to the world of Harry Potter.

When Warner Bros. needed to find a fantastic director for the studio’s upcoming “Harry Potter” spin-off feature, “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” execs knew just where to find them. In fact, if a report in Variety pans out, they didn’t need to look any further than the already-released “Harry Potter” movies.

David Yates, who directed four movies in the franchise, including the final two “Deathly Hallows” installments, is reportedly in negotiations to direct the first installment of the spin-off series.

Yates is currently filming “Tarzan” with star Alexander Skarsgard.

The first movie in the “Fantastic Beasts” trilogy, which will focus on the life and adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander (the author of the Hogwarts textbook that the trilogy takes its name from), is set for a November 18, 2016 release. J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series and the separately released “Fantastic Beasts” textbook, will write the screenplay. The film will be shot at the same studios just outside London that housed the sets for the original “Harry Potter” films.

Rowling has clarified that the series will be set nearly a century before Harry, Hermione and Ron set foot in Hogwarts, and will begin in New York City.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 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,” Rowling has said. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the ‘Harry Potter’ books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them” hits theaters on November 18, 2016.