Eddie Redmayne Is Frontrunner for ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff Trilogy

Get excited, wizard folks!

Eddie Redmayne might be getting magical very soon with J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themthe Hogwarts textbook from the Harry Potter series. 

Redmayne, 33, is reportedly the frontrunner for the role of “magical zoologist” Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off, according to Variety.

The fantastical textbook Fantastic Beasts chronicles Scamander’s life work and was popular mainly amongst Hermione Granger (and perhaps only Granger). The movie description reads:

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Scamander also has ties to Potter; though his time at Hogwarts preceded the young wizard’s, his grandson Rolf marries Ravenclaw’s Luna Lovegood as an adult.

Warner Brother’s had announced back in October that an entire trilogy is in the works, the first of which is due out November 18, 2016 (followed by dates in 2018 and 2020).

The beloved author will be penning the script herself, making her screenwriting debut. In 2013, she clarified the intentions of Fantastic Beasts in a Facebook post, writing:

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. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.

David Yates, the director of the last four (of eight) Harry Potter films, will be directing the project. The studio is looking to cast the four other main roles (two American girls and two American boys).

The British actor just won the Oscar (and the Golden Globe, the Screen Actor’s Guild) for Best Actor in The Theory of Everything depicting Stephen Hawking.

His next film is Tom Hooper’s The Danish Woman, in which he plays one of the first people to undergo sex-reassignment surgery.

[Variety]