Eddie Redmayne Pegged for Lead Role in Harry Potter Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

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Eddie Redmayne is reportedly in talks to take on the lead role in the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The actor, who previously put in an Oscar-winning performance as Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything,could be set to take on the role of the upcoming Warner Bros. trilogy’s protagonist Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who tracks down monsters in a story set 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series.

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Though a number of actors have been linked with the role, including Matt Smith and Nicholas Hoult, Variety has claimed that Warner Bros. and director David Yates have officially offered Redmayne the part – though Variety notes that WB has declined to comment.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is based upon the book of the same name, penned by Harry Potter author JK Rowling back in 2001 in order to raise money for Comic Relief. It will also mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut, with her set to produce the screenplay of the movie.

According to 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.” Considering the actor is in high demand following his performance in The Theory of Anything, which saw him bag an Oscar for Best Actor, he seems like a likely choice for Yates and WB, though the studio has yet to make an official statement regarding whether or not this is the case.

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