Fantastic Beasts 2 to pay homage to Harry Potter
'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2' will have some "surprising nods" to 'Harry Potter'. The magical franchise takes place years before the boy wizard is born or embarks on his adventures at Hogwarts and even before the rise of Lord Voldemort and follows Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who travels the world protecting endangered magical creatures and documenting them. The adventures are set in the same universe that J. K. Rowling has created and will have numerous direct links to the world the author first created in her books and which was shown on screen in the movies starring Daniel Radcliffe as the bespectacled magical lad. An official statement revealed: "The film expands the wizarding world, moving from New York to London and on to Paris. "There are also some surprising nods to the 'Harry Potter' stories that will delight fans of the books and film series." Shooting on the project has begun with Redmayne, 35, reprising his role as Newt and Katherine Waterston, 37, as Auror Tina Goldstein, Alison Sudol, 32, as Queenie and Dan Fogler, 40, as Jacob Fowalski. Johnny Depp, 54, is back as Gellert Grindelwald and Jude Law, 44, is set to play a young Albus Dumbledore. Ezra Miller, 24, is back as Credence, Zoe Kravitz, 28, will take on the role of Leta Lestrange and Callum Turner, 27, will play Newt's brother Theseus Scamander. David Yates, who helmed four Harry Potter films and the first 'Fantastic Beasts', is set to return to the director's seat for the next installment with Rowling penning the script for the story which is set in 1927. The statement added: "J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film which opens in 1927, a few months after Newt helped to unveil and capture the infamous Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. "However, as he promised he would, Grindelwald has made a dramatic escape and has been gathering more followers to his cause - elevating wizards above all non-magical beings. The only one who might be able to stop him is the wizard he once called his dearest friend Albus Dumbledore. But Dumbledore will need help from the wizard who had thwarted Grindelwald once before, his former student Newt Scamander. The adventure reunites Newt with Tina, Queenie and Jacob but his mission will also test their loyalties as they face new perils in an increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world." It is the first of four planned sequels by Warner Bros and 51-year-old Rowling, and it is scheduled to open in cinemas in November 2018.