Gravity's Alfonso Cuaron up to direct Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts

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May 19, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT (Updated)

We heard a while back that the Harry Potter universe would be returning with a spinoff trilogy, and it sounds like they’re going with a familiar face to bring it all to life.

It’s being reported that Alfonso Cuaron is “deep in talks” to helm Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is based on author J.K. Rowling’s book of the same name. Cuaron already has experience with the franchise, having directed 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Of course, Cuaron is a much bigger name now than he was back in those days, in the wake of his award-winning hit Gravity. He’d be a big get for the studio to help launch this spinoff universe, and it’d give Cuaron a chance to redeem the lower-than-expected box-office take of the (excellent) Prisoner of Azkaban. Rowling is writing the screenplay herself, so this could be interesting.

The scoop comes from Hollywood maven Nikki Finke, formerly of Deadline and now of her Twitter account:

The Fantastic Beasts film series will spin off from the book, which was essentially a fake textbook Rowling wrote that fits into the Harry Potter world. The book dug deep into the universe, telling the fantastic origins of 75 magical species with magizoologist Newt Scamander as the guide. The movie will reportedly follow Scamander as he travels the globe studying those creatures. 

Do you think Cuaron is the right pick to make this movie? Are you glad to hear he could be retuning to the Potter-verse?

(Via Nikki Finke)