Alfonso Cuaron in talks to direct Harry Potter spin-off

Los Angeles: `Gravity` helmer Alfonso Cuaron is believed to be in talks to direct the first upcoming Harry Potter spin-off `Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them`.

The movie is planned to hit theaters on November 18, 2016. It aims at launching a new trilogy, with two sequels expected to follow, reportedly.

The first installment will be written by J K Rowling herself based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same title which features Newt Scamander, the schoolbook`s fictitious author.

Set initially in New York about seven decades before the start of the Harry Potter story, the films will follow magizoologist Newt Scamander as an extension of the wizarding world - rather than being prequels or sequels.

The eight Harry Potter films grossed USD 7.7 billion worldwide between 2001 and 2011. Four of the eight opened in mid-November.