Where the cinematic expansion of the Harry Potter universe is concerned, we’ve been waiting with bated breath for news on Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. The novella that inspired the film is actually a textbook detailing the magical creatures that can be found in the Potterverse, but author J.K. Rowling has adapted it for the big screen – presumably giving it a plot and a narrative trajectory missing from the book. Looks like Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will be busy for years – the film has already locked in a release date in November 2016, with two sequels slated to open in 2018 and 2020.
Here’s the official press release:
Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has been cast as Newt Scamander in Warner Bros. Pictures’ much-anticipated wizarding world adventure “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
Redmayne will play J.K. Rowling’s creation Newt Scamander, the Wizarding World’s preeminent magizoologist, who in his travels has encountered and documented a myriad of magical creatures, ultimately leading to his penning the Hogwarts School textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
In making the announcement, Silverman 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.’”
Making her screenwriting debut on the film, J.K. Rowling has developed the character of Scamander and his primer—taken from her globally beloved Harry Potter series—to further explore the unique wizarding world she has crafted in print and bring it to life on screen.
David Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” films and will direct “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” stated, “Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. 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.”
The film is being produced by David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster “Harry Potter” features; J.K. Rowling; Steve Kloves, who scripted all but one of the “Harry Potter” films; and Lionel Wigram, who served as an executive producer on the last four installments of the franchise.
Eddie Redmayne won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the 2014 biopic “The Theory of Everything.” His stunning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in that film also brought him Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Golden Globe Awards. In 2012, Redmayne starred as Marius in Tom Hooper’s screen adaptation of the hit musical “Les Misérables,” with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. In 2010, Redmayne won a Tony Award for his performance in “Red,” which marked his Broadway debut. On screen, he next stars in Hooper’s true-life drama “The Danish Girl,” due out this November.
Warner Bros. Pictures has slated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for worldwide release in 3D and IMAX beginning November 18, 2016.