A couple of months back we found out that Oscar-winning The Theory of Everything and Les Miserables star Eddie Redmayne was the frontrunner to star in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie is the first in a planned trilogy of Harry Potter spinoffs that were first announced back in September of 2013.
Now Warner Brothers has confirmed that Redmayne has indeed officially signed on for the role of Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who has documented numerous magical creatures and wrote about his discoveries in the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry study. The story is set 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter movies.
The announcement was made by Warner Bros. Pictures President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman, who said:
“Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today’s most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors. We are thrilled to welcome him into J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in “˜Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.'”
The movie is set to be directed by someone familiar with the Potter universe, David Yates, who directed the final four installments in movie megafranchise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2.
Yates also released a statement on Redmayne’s casting, saying:
“Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”
The screenplay will be written by someone even more familiar with the Potter universe, J.K. Rowling, who penned the books that the movie franchise is based on. Rowling is making her feature screenwriting debut.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on November 18, 2016.