Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne will star in the upcoming J.K. Rowling film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel to the Harry Potter movies.
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Warner Bros. confirmed the long-standing rumours Monday, announcing that Redmayne will play Newt Scamander, the wizard who wrote the titular Hogwarts School textbook, 70 years before the first Harry Potter film took place.
"Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity," director David Yates said in a statement. "I couldn't be more excited about the prospect of working with him."
The role comes on the heels of Redmayne's award winning performance as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking in the 2014 romantic biopic The Theory of Everything.
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The 33-year-old British-born actor took his first-ever Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for his depiction of the famed scientist as he struggled with ALS.
Based on 2001 Rowling book
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its lead character are based on a book that J.K. Rowling wrote in 2001 under the pseudonym of her fictional character Newt Scamander.
The film centres on Scamander, whom Warner Bros. describes as "the Wizarding World's preeminent magizoologist, who in his travels has encountered and documented a myriad of magical creatures."
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Rowling wrote her first ever screenplay for the movie, and will also pen the other two screenplays in a planned trilogy.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set for worldwide release in 3D and IMAX on Nov. 18, 2016.