Eddie Redmayne to star in the ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off—but wait, there’s more!

Fantastic news for all wizards and Muggles around, we’ve found our Newt Scamander. After months of speculation and waiting, Eddie Redmayne has finally singed on to play Newt in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We’re not going to get any better news out of the wizarding world today.

If you think you’re excited about this, Fantastic Beasts’ director, David Yates, and Rowling are even more excited. “Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity,” Yates said in a statement, “I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”

What’s probably the most thrilling thing about this movie is that we don’t even know what its going to be about yet. Really! Rowling herself is writing the script, so you know it’s going to be top-notch no matter what, but aside from that, details about the film are being kept with a Secret Keeper. Here are the few things we do know, so gather round young Muggles, you’re going to wait to listen up.

Fantastic Beasts is sort-of based off of one of Harry’s textbooks

It’s a required first-year text book for all students, and it’s actually written like a textbook. There’s no plot. There are, however, a ton of doodles, scribbles, and notes from Ron and Harry scattered throughout the book, so it resembles something you and your friends would pass back and forth during class.

It’s written by magizoologist Newt Scamander, a former Hufflepuff.

Rowling calls it an “extension” of the Wizarding World

Way back in 2013, when the film was first announced, Rowling took to her Facebook page to explain a little bit more about the project, and why it was so near and dear to her heart: ” I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts’, realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.”

She continues, “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen 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.”

It’s set in 1920s New York City

The events take place roughly 70 years before the events of Harry Potter begin. Harry Potter actually took place during the ’90s (The Battle of Hogwarts took place in 1998) pushing Fantastic Beasts to the 1920s.

Newt will have friends with him

This magizoologist isn’t going to go at it alone. According to Variety, there are four other main roles — two American boys, and two American girls. The Wrap gives the girls names of Tina and Queenie. According to the site, Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning, Lili Simmons and Alison Sudol are contenders for Tina, while Kate Upton, Katherine Waterston and Elizabeth Debicki are in the running for, Queenie, Tina’s big sis.

Elsewhere in the Wizarding world…

With a time period of 1920, that means Dumbledore is living in Godric’s Hollow. The headmaster of Hogwarts is Phineas Nigellus Black (who’s Sirius’ great-grandfather). Roderick Plumpton catches the golden snitch in three and a half seconds, changing Quidditch forever.

Professor McGonagall won’t be born until 1925, and Tom Riddle won’t be born until 1926. Fantastic Beasts isn’t actually published until 1927.

Fantastic Beasts will be a trilogy

We’re not just going to get one outing with Newt, but THREE. All the films even have planned release dates, too. The first one will tentatively open on November 18th, 2016. The other two will follow in 2018 and 2020, but Newt can keep coming every two years from here until eternity if he really wants.


Sorry for yelling, but this is so exciting. While we might never see another adventure with Harry himself, there are still plenty of other stories to be told, and hopefully this is just the first. The film starts shooting this summer in London, so get ready for a ton of magical goodness over the next few months. Butterbeers all around.

Image via here.

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