Redmayne to star in Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts”

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Harry Potter beasts
The imaginative world of Harry Potter is already filled with tons of fantastic beasts, so get ready for Newt Scamander’s quests!

J.K. Rowling fans are already brushing up on their latest spells and waving those wands, because a Harry Potter trilogy is on the horizon! The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series will be released as “megamovies” by Warner Bros., and are based on a Hogwarts textbook written by Rowling herself. Taking place a whopping 7 decades before Harry Potter took on Lord Voldemort, the films will focus on the misadventures of “magizoologist” Newt Scamander. Now, Warner Bros. has announced that Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything) has officially been cast as Scamander.

The CEO of Warner Bros. studios, Kevin Tsujihara, is the man responsible for convincing Rowling to dip her magical quill back in the inkpot and have a go at the Fantastic Beasts movies. “When I say he made Fantastic Beasts happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” explained Rowling. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!” This series of movies also marks Rowling’s screenwriting debut, and Tsujihara explains, “Jo has a vision for this extension of the franchise, and for the first time, she is writing the script for what she believes is at least a trilogy.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” explained Rowling last year. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.” Considering that Harry Potter is the most successful movie franchise of all time, earning over $7.7 billion worldwide, Warner Bros. hasn’t been shy about hinting that the Fantastic Beasts films may go beyond the planned trilogy. For now, you can look forward to Scamander’s animal antics in 2016, 2018, and 2020.

Featured image courtesy of J.K. Rowling / Arthur A. Levine Books (left) and Warner Bros. (right). Image of Harry Potter scene courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.