Variety reports that Yates has accepted an offer to direct the first Fantastic Beasts film, which is being written by Potter author J.K. Rowling. The Fantastic Beasts story takes place in the same world as Harry Potter, but decades prior to the events of the renowned book series.
Rowling has called the series “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”
Warner Brothers appears to be planning on three films in the Fantastic Beasts movies, which will center on the author of the Fantastic Beasts textbook (which Harry and his friends used during their time at Hogwarts), Newt Scamander, and will take place in the early 20th century in New York.
Yates is no stranger to the world of Harry Potter, having directed the final four films in the series (Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and both Deathly Hallows films). Fantastic Beasts is expected to be filmed at Leavesden Studios in London, where most of all eight Harry Potter films were made — and where Yates is currently working on his reboot of Tarzan.
Previously, Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron was approached about directing Fantastic Beasts, but that did not pan out.