It's been nearly two years since Warner Bros. announced that they'll be continuing their mega-popular Harry Potter franchise not with more Harry stories, but with prequel films beginning with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Potter creator J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut on the film, which tells the story of the magizoologist who wrote the titular Hogwarts textbook (Rowling also produced a version of the textbook for charity in 2001), and director David Yates, who directed the last four Potter films, will return to helm the film. It's a massive project, one that's bound to fill a gap for some fans who still want to go back to the Wizarding World on the big screen, and because it can't star Daniel Radcliffe this time around, Warner Bros. needed the right actor for the job.
Well, after months of rumors, the studio finally confirmed on Monday that Eddie Redmayne, who just won an Oscar earlier this year for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, will play Newt Scamander, the magizoologist who travels the world in search of magical creatures. Redmayne's casting was confirmed by both Warner Bros. President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman and by Yates.
“Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity," Yates said. "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."
If all goes well with the first Fantastic Beasts film, sequels are on the way, and Redmayne will go from acclaimed actor to full-blown movie star. Because this isn't a character who's really fleshed out in Rowling's books, we don't know yet what kind of performance to expect from Redmayne, but we do know he's got the talent to deliver something compelling.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters Nov. 18, 2016.
(Via The Wrap)