The first Harry Potter spin-off movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, has officially found its lead actor. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) has signed on to play Newt Scamander, a magizoologist, in the prequel.
The book, written by J.K. Rowling, was published in 2001. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a textbook given to all first-year Hogwarts students and is authored by Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who documents the various magical creatures throughout the wizarding world that he encounters in his travels. These “fantastic beasts” include the Centaur, the Dragon, the Hippogriff, and the Unicorn.
In a statement, Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production at Warner Bros. Pictures, 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.
Rowling will make her screenwriting debut on the film, with David Yates returning to direct after helming the last four Harry Potter films.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled for a November 18, 2016 release date.