When Warner Bros. first announced that it would turn Hogwarts textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" into a film, the initial plan for the "Harry Potter" spinoff was an ambitious three-movie series. But now, "Potter" author and "Fantastic Beasts" screenwriter J.K. Rowling has revealed that the franchise will be even bigger than initially anticipated.

During a fan event and Q&A in London on Thursday featuring cast members from the upcoming film, Rowling made a surprise appearance and dropped some stunning news about the continuing adventures of protagonist Newt Scamander (played by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne): There will be a total of five films in the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, which will no longer be a trilogy as originally planned.

"Beasts" marks Rowling's screenwriting debut, and clearly, the prolific author got the movie bug, already completing the script for "Fantastic Beasts 2." While that follow-up flick is due in theaters in 2018, it remains to be seen what the release schedule will be like for the other three films.

At Thursday's fan event, the cast and crew revealed a few clues about what audiences can expect in the sequel, with the setting shifting to a new prominent city (away from the first flick's NYC action), and an important connection to Grindlewald, the evil wizard who Dumbledore battled in the original "Potter" series. Redmayne said during the event that he felt "enormous pressure" following the success of the first franchise; looks like that pressure will continue for the foreseeable future.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" hits theaters on November 18.

[via: Fantastic Beasts, The Hollywood Reporter]