‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Eyes Eddie Redmayne for Leading Role
UPDATE: Variety confirms that Eddie Redmayne is now officially in talks to star in the new Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
It’s been a little bit since we got an update on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff based on J.K. Rowling’s fictional text. Last we heard, David Yates is directing the first film in the planned Fantastic Beasts trilogy, but that was months ago. Today finally brings an update on the new franchise, as recent Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne is reportedly the frontrunner to take the leading role in the film.
Per Variety, Warner Bros. is eyeing Redmayne to take the role of Newt Scamander, a wizard and “magiczoologist” who goes on various adventures whilst studying various beasts about 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter stories. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also the title of the textbook Scamander writes, which is later referenced in both the Harry Potter books and films.
Rowling herself is making her screenwriting debut on Fantastic Beasts, which is set to be directed by David Yates — who helmed the last four films in the Potter franchise. The new project is said to be neither prequel nor sequel, but as Rowling describes, an “extension” of the beloved series.
Redmayne is coming off an Oscar win for his leading role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and appears next in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl. There are still four more leading roles to be cast in Fantastic Beasts — two American boys and two American girls.
The first installment in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy hits theaters on November 18, 2016.