Sure he defeated the Dark Lord, saved the world and became possibly the most famous wizard ever (and he still had to settle for a ginger, Nick?!), but Harry Potter isn’t the only magical guy to lead a movie set in JK Rowling’s beloved literary world. Well, at least he won’t be soon, as Warner Bros have been developing a new movie trilogy inspired by “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them”, the Hogwarts School text book about mythical monsters used by Harry and co in their story.
Thus far we’ve known that Harry Potter veteran David Yates would be in the director’s chair, and that Rowling herself would actually be penning the original script (a first for her), but what we didn’t know is who would be playing the lead role of Newt Scamander, the “world’s most preeminent magizooligist” that penned said fictional text book based on his own experiences. Well, if you’re going to cast a character that’s a pioneer in his own field of research, then you may as well get an actor who’s just won an Oscar for playing a pioneer in his field! (Even if that first field of research is a totally made-up thing!).
Warner Bros has announced (via ComingSoon.net) that Theory of Everything star Eddie Redmayne, fresh from bagging this year’s Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, has beem cast as Scamander. Director David Yates had this to say about the casting of the acclaimed 33-year old British actor:
“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.”
While the details of Rowling’s script is being kept under wraps, it’s believed that the movie will be set in the 1920’s-1930’s, years before Scamander would pen the famous wizarding textbook and about half a century before this wizarding world would ever hear about “The Boy Who Lived”. It’s also believed that the film will open in New York and not stick exclusively to the British Isles like the previous films, and that it will feature additional lead roles for four Americans. It’s been rumoured that for Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning, Lili Simmons and Kate Upton among other have all been looked at for two of these roles, reportedly a pair of sisters named Queenie and Tina.
The Harry Potter franchise was Warner Bros’ biggest cash cow when it was around, so it should come as no surprise that the studio is already positioning this to kick off a new franchise with sequels already planned. What makes this intriguing though, is that there’s no existing source material to work off (and subsequently have to compress into a 2hr movie) and Rowling will be creating all of this from scratch. As somebody who loved the movies and books, that freshness – combined with the uber-talented Redmayne in the lead and the Yates and co guiding him – has really left me kind of excited for this.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is scheduled for release on November 18, 2016, with its sequels penciled in for November 16, 2018 and November 20, 2020.
Last Updated: June 3, 2015