Fresh off winning an Oscar for “The Theory of Everything,” British actor Eddie Redmayne is Warner Bros.’ choice to star as Newt Scamander in its adaptation of J.K. Rowling‘s “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” an individual familiar with the studio’s thinking has told TheWrap.
David Yates is directing the big-budget tentpole, and while it remains unclear whether Redmayne has met with Yates to discuss the project, insiders say he has yet to see a script. Rowling is writing the script herself, and both the author and the studio envision a trilogy.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” star Nicholas Hoult is also in contention for the coveted role, as WB execs are thrilled by his performance in George Miller‘s action movie. If the “Fantastic Beasts” role does indeed go to Redmayne, expect Warners to find another massive property for Hoult.
While a representative for Warner Bros. declined to comment on casting rumors surrounding the project, TheWrap has independently confirmed the studio’s interest in Redmayne.
“Fantastic Beasts” is an extension of the wizarding world detailed in the “Harry Potter” franchise. The film is based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same name written by Scamander, who as a magiczoologist, studies magical creatures.
The first “Fantastic Beasts” movie will cast a spell on audiences beginning Nov. 18, 2016.
Redmayne, who recently starred in WB’s “Jupiter Ascending,” is represented by CAA and United Agents.
Variety broke the news of WB’s interest in Redmayne.