Television Business International

Warner Bros. snags Casual Vacancy rights as part of J.K. Rowling deal

Warner Bros.’ international TV unit will sell the upcoming TV adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy as part of an extended deal with the author.

Tsujihara,jpgThe Casual Vacancy novel tells the story of the death of a small town councillor and the ensuing mystery. It was the Harry Potter author’s first effort since the boy wizard fantasy series and her first book for adults.

Late last year UK public broadcaster the BBC said it was making a TV version of the series that will launch in 2014.

Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution has snagged international rights to the TV series, excluding the UK, as part of a new extended deal by the studio and Rowling.

Warner Bros. produced and distributed the Harry Potter movies and will make a new movie set in that universe. It will be inspired by the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them text book Harry reads at his wizard school, Hogwarts. Rowling will pen the screenplay. Post theatrical release, Warner Bros. is expected to take TV rights and shop the movie to broadcasters.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said Rowling.

The deal was announced by Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara.