×

Eddie Redmayne Officially in Talks for Harry Potter Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Eddie Redmayne has been offered the role of Newt Scamander in Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” according to sources.

As Variety first reported, Redmayne was the front-runner for the role and was intrigued but wanted a finished script before committing. Insiders say that now that the script has been delivered, he is very happy with what he has read.

J.K. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut on the trilogy. Warner Bros. had no comment.

Though director David Yates may be considering a few other actors, it’s looking like Redmayne has the inside track. WB declined to comment on this story.

Set in New York roughly seven decades before Harry Potter’s saga starts, “Fantastic Beasts” is based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same name and follows the adventures of its author, Newt Scamander. Scamander is described as a “magiczoologist,” which in the “Harry Potter” realm is a person who studies magical creatures. Besides Scamander, there are four other main roles — two American girls and two American boys — that the studio is looking to cast.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, ‘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,” Rowling explained.

Popular on Variety

Yates and the studio were expected to meet next week for the two female leads but wanted to make sure Redmayne was locked up before those tests began.

He has finished production on Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” which bows in November. Warner Bros. and Redmayne recently worked together on “Jupiter Ascending,” in which he played the villain opposite Channing Tatum. Though that film failed to meet expectations at the box office, the British thesp is still in high demand following his Oscar win for “The Theory of Everything.”

Redmayne is repped by CAA and United Agents.

More Film

  • Shirley Chen and Jose Angeles appear

    'Beast Beast': Film Review

    Writer-director Danny Madden’s “Beast Beast” clatters to life with organic percussion: a stick rat-a-tatting against an iron fence, a skateboard scraping on concrete, a rifle pinging bullets against a defenseless tin plate. Together, these sounds combine into jazz, despite the discordance of the three teens making such a ruckus. Krista (Shirley Chen), the stick thwacker, [...]

  • Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc

    Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc ‘Softie’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    PBS’s documentary arm POV has snapped up U.S. broadcast rights for Kenyan director Sam Soko’s “Softie,” fresh off its world premiere in the World Documentary Cinema competition at Sundance, Variety has learned. The film, which is the first Kenyan-produced movie to premiere at the festival, will air as part of the series’ 33rd season, which kicks [...]

  • Will Smith as Mike Lowrey in

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Rules Over 'The Gentlemen'

    STX’s “The Gentlemen” proved no match for Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which again left box office competitors in the dust after collecting $34 million in its sophomore outing. Those ticket sales, pushing the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led sequel past the $100 million mark, were easily enough to claim the No. 1 spot for [...]

  • Kajillionaire

    'Kajillionaire': Film Review

    The world is a weird place. Miranda July knows that, but the rest of us sometimes forget. Or maybe we just don’t want to admit how bizarre it is that society more or less agrees that back rubs and hot tubs and flavored chips and McRibs are an appropriate reward for a bazillion years of [...]

  • Stellan Skarsgard

    Göteborg Listens to Stellan according to Skarsgård

    GÖTEBORG Spain — Laughs were aplenty at the Stora Theatern, where Göteborg Film Festival artistic director Jonas Holmberg welcomed the recipient of the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award, fresh off his Golden Globe win for HBO’s “Chernobyl”. “It wasn’t planned. I thought that will be my only award this year, that’s why I said yes!” – joked Skarsgård, [...]

  • Promising Young Woman

    'Promising Young Woman': Film Review

    Given that the entertainment industry is pretty much the center of the #MeToo universe in terms of generating its most public effects — and, needless to say, causes — probably no Sundance film this year will be as hot a conversation topic as “Promising Young Woman.” Emerald Fennell’s first directorial feature is a female revenge [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content