J.K. Rowling: What’s Coming Next From the ‘Harry Potter’ Author?

Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

J.K. Rowling released her latest book in June, but fans have already begun speculating about when they can expect her next work and what it will entail. Now, it looks like we’re finally getting some answers. The author recently took to social media to clear up some rumors surrounding her impending writing, as well as to announce the upcoming release of a brand new Harry Potter story.

This week, Rowling confirmed plans to resurrect one of the most malevolent villains from the favorite fantasy series in a new story, just in time for Halloween. Per a description released on Rowling’s site, Pottermore, the story will center on the character of Dolores Umbridge, a witch and former Hogwarts professor who also worked in the Ministry of Magic. The new content will “provide a rich, 1,500-word back story about Umbridge’s life filled with many new details, as well as Rowling’s revealing first-person thoughts and reflections about the character.”

As Potter fans know, Umbridge (played eerily well by Imelda Staunton in the films) is known for being one of the most malicious characters in Rowling’s magical universe, and is the only one to physically scar Harry other than his biggest archnemesis, Lord Voldemort himself. Not much is known about her past other than that she also attended Hogwarts as a Slytherin and has a short wand (a symbol that its owner is lacking in personality). That makes her the perfect subject for a new story, especially one scheduled to be released on the upcoming eerie holiday.

The new Halloween-themed Pottermore story isn’t the only thing Rowling has in the works, though. Earlier this month, there was speculation that the author had finished writing a romance novel. Rowling herself debunked the rumors, confirming that she hasn’t written anything within that particular genre. She also revealed she hasn’t completed any new work just yet, but is in the process of doing so. “I haven’t handed in ANY kind of novel to my publishers. I’m only half way through my current book,” she wrote on Twitter.

Unfortunately, what exactly that book is remains unconfirmed. The most likely possibility that she’s working on the next installment of the Cormoran Strike series (written under the alias of Robert Galbraith), which she has already confirmed will extend past the seven novel-run of her Harry Potter series. However, there’s also speculation that Rowling is busy working on a follow-up to her 2011 novel, The Casual Vacancy.

Rowling is also busy wrapping up her screenplay for the first installment of the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie. Earlier this month, Warner Bros. announced that the big screen adaptation of the original 2001 novel will be split into three films, set for release in 2016, 2018, and 2020. The story is set in the 1920s, seven decades before the start of Harry Potter, and will center on famed Magizoologist Newt Scamander, as well as other magical creatures explored in Potter’s Hogwarts textbook. Rowling recently tweeted a series of hints about the adaptation, which she says she is still “tweaking,” in which she confirmed that the film will start out in New York.

The first of the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them films is currently scheduled for release on November 18, 2016. In the meantime, fans looking for a Harry Potter fix before then can find the just-announced Dolores Umbridge story on Pottermore on October 31.

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