BURBANK, Calif., June 2 (UPI) -- Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has been cast as Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter companion movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The announcement was made Monday by Greg Silverman, the president of creative development and worldwide production at Warner Bros. Pictures.
"Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today's most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors. We are thrilled to welcome him into [author] J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Silverman said in a statement.
Rowling will make her screenwriting debut on the film, which follows Scamander, a "preeminent magizoologist, who, in his travels, has encountered and documented a myriad of magical creatures, ultimately leading to his penning the Hogwarts School textbook."
David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter pictures, will helm Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
"Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. 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," Yates said.
The film is being produced by Rowling; David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster Harry Potter features; Steve Kloves, who scripted all but one of the Harry Potter films; and Lionel Wigram, who served as an executive producer on the last four installments of the Potter franchise.
Warner Bros. Pictures has slated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for worldwide, theatrical release in 3D and IMAX on Nov. 18, 2016.
Redmayne, 33, has starred in the films The Theory of Everything, Les Miserables, My Week with Marilyn and The Other Boleyn Sister.