Eddie Redmayne to lead Harry Potter prequel ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

It’s hard to believe that almost four years have passed since we all bid farewell to Harry Potter and his companions on the big screen.

But the magical world that renowned author J.K Rowling helped to create in her novels is set to be explored again before the events of Harry’s story in the form of a prequel trilogy.

The first of those films, entitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will focus on magizoologist Newt Scamander during his time in New York 70 years prior to the boy wizard’s birth.

The casting of the significant lead role has finally been confirmed with Oscar-winning British actor Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn, Les Miserables) set to play Newt.

It’s another major moment for Redmayne this year having landed multiple awards (including the Oscar) for his stunning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the biopic drama The Theory of Everything. However he did endure the frustration of being critically-panned for his hammy performance in the sci-fi flop Jupiter Ascending.

However that small setback hasn’t stopped the Brit from securing crucial roles and undoubtedly boosting his cinematic CV with what is likely to be another money-making franchise.

Warner Bros President of Creative Development Greg Silverman issued a statement confirming his satisfaction with the casting:

“Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today’s most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors. We are thrilled to welcome him into JK 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.”

With Rowling on board as a screenwriter, the production team is once again being spearheaded by former Harry Potter director David Yates and long-time producer David Heyman. Yates also spoke of his happiness with Redmayne’s casting:

“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 JK Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”

Filming on Fantastic Beasts is set to begin later this summer with a worldwide release date scheduled for November 18th 2016.

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