By Jessica Derschowitz
August 03, 2016 at 04:31 PM EDT
Jaap Buitendijk

There’s even more magic in store for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Warner Bros. officially announced plans for a sequel to the upcoming film on Wednesday, with a release date set for Nov. 16, 2018.

The first Fantastic Beasts, which arrives in theaters on Nov. 18, marked Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut. She’ll return to pen the sequel, and director David Yates (who directed the last four Potter films in addition to Fantastic Beasts) will be back as well. The new film also reunites producers David Heyman, Rowling, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram. Neil Blair, Rick Senat, and Danny Cohen will serve as executive producers.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them centers on magizoologist and former Hogwarts Hufflepuff Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), who arrives in 1920s New York City with a suitcase full of magical creatures — which he must scramble to recapture after they escape.

In addition to Redmayne, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them cast includes Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol.

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The new film, Warner Bros. said in a statement, “moves deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes have to decide on their allegiances.”

At San Diego Comic-Con last month, Yates teased that Rowling had already written the script for the sequel, which takes the story “in a whole new direction.”

RELATED: Secrets of the Fantastic Beasts Trailer Revealed

“The second movie introduces new characters as [Rowling] builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It’s a very interesting development from where we start out,” he said. “The work is pouring out of her.”

The news comes on the heels of other major developments in Rowling’s wizarding universe. The new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child recently opened to rave reviews in London, and the published script of the show sold more than 2 million copies in just two days. 

  • Movie
  • PG-13
release date
  • 11/18/16
  • 132 minutes
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