Oscar winning British actor Eddie Redmayne has been cast as magizoologist Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them.
The Harry Potter spin-off, penned by author J.K. Rowling, is based on a fictional textbook she wrote for the Potterverse, as featured in the live action movie series also. This is the start of Warner Bros.’ expansion of the magical world, keeping their lucrative brand alive for as long as possible.
Fantastic Beasts follows Scamander around the magical wilderness as he explores and documents the many weird and wonderful creatures he encounters on his travels. In what sounds like Charles Darwin in Jumanji, this is a move away from the core texts and into new lands, thus the creative and commercial potential for both studio and author is almost unlimited.
Redmayne, whose most recent screen outing was the acclaimed Stephen Hawkin biopic The Theory of Everything, certainly has a believable explorer look, and his casting is also in keeping with the British tone of the original series, also punctuated by the hiring of previous Potter director David Yates.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is currently slated for a November 18th 2016 release, with two sequels also in the works.