Warner Bros. Pictures and J.K. Rowling have found their man to embody their lead wizard in the upcoming Harry Potter franchise spin-off.
According to an official press release, Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, Jupiter Ascending) will take the lead on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Although he’s been rumored to join the film for some time now, it’s nice to have official confirmation, as it’s likely getting ready to go into active production in the near future. Warner Bros. President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production commented on Redmayne’s casting in the press release, saying,
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.
To be directed by David Yates — the helmer of the final four main Harry Potter films — Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place about 70 years before the events of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It will follow Redmayne’s character, a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamader, as he, “travels will encounter and document a myriad of magical creatures, ultimately leading his penning the Hogwarts School textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Unlike the majority of Harry Potter stories, this one will take place in New York, which will give fans of the “Potterverse” their first look at the United States within the wizarding world, outside of some innocuous mentions in the books of American witches present at the Quidditch World Cup.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is expected to go into production this summer for a release in November of 2016. It will also likely be the first part of a new trilogy. For more on Fantastic Beasts as it takes shape, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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