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Eddie Redmayne is front-runner for J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff

J.K. Rowling herself indicated that Eddie Redmayne was her first choice to play Newt Scamander in the upcoming trilogy Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and it looks like she might just get her way.

According to Variety, insiders say that a finished script has been delivered to Academy Award winner Redmayne, and that he is “very happy with what he has read”.

So what else do we know about the movie trilogy that has fans of Harry Potter (and now Eddie Redmayne) so excited?

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is Rowling’s first film script and is based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same name, which is set in New York, 70 years before the Harry Potter saga began.
  • “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 posted on her Facebook page in 2013.
  • Newt Scamander is a “magi zoologist” and the film will follow his adventures.

More: Did Draco Malfoy get sorted wrong? J.K. Rowling responds

  • David Heyman, who produced the Harry Potter films, will be returning as producer for Fantastic Beasts.
  • In May 2014 Hollywood Reporter announced that the first film will be released on Nov. 18, 2016, followed by the second in 2018 and the third in 2020.
  • On Oct. 6, 2014, J.K. Rowling posted the cryptic message, “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense,” on her Twitter account, sending her followers into a frenzy. She confirmed the following day that it is a riddle, and the solution, while not part of the script, was the first sentence of a synopsis of Newt Scamander’s story. Rowling solved the puzzle later that day, posting: “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours. Circumstances ensured that he remained… for the length of a movie, anyway.”

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