Warner Bros confirms Fantastic Beasts sequel

Second Fantastic Beasts movie coming in November 2018, studio says.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The second movie in the Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts will be released in November 2018, Hollywood movie studio Warner Bros said on Wednesday (Aug 3), promising "much more on the horizon" from the boy-wizard franchise.

British author J.K. Rowling will write the script for the second movie as she did for the first and David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, will direct, Warner Bros said in a statement.

The movie, yet to be titled, is part of a three-movie deal based on Rowling's book Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, a prequel to her best-selling Harry Potter books. The first movie, starring Eddie Redmayne, will be released on Nov 18, 2016.

Pottermania returned with a vengeance in recent weeks, with rave reviews for the London stage play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, and publication of the play script in book form.

US and British booksellers say the book is already the best-selling title in a decade. Harry Potter theme park attractions are up and running in Florida and California, as well as in Osaka, Japan.

"There is much more on the horizon, all highlighting that the global interest in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World in every medium is as strong as ever," Warner Bros said, without giving details.

More than 450 million copies of the seven original Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide in 79 languages. The movie franchise has grossed more than US$7 billion (S$9.4 billion) worldwide.

Warner Bros is a division of Time Warner Inc.