Eddie Redmayne, who just won the Best Actor Oscar for The Theory of Everything, is the frontrunner to play Newt Scamander in Warner Bros. Pictures’ anticipated “Harry Potter” spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, reports Variety. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The trade adds that Redmayne has yet to receive an official offer while director David Yates is still considering a few other actors for the role as well. Nicholas Hoult is said to be another name the studio has considered for the part.
The film, scheduled for a November 18, 2016 release, is inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
The second and third “Fantastic Beasts” films are scheduled for release on November 16, 2018 and November 20, 2020.