Eddie Redmayne has been confirmed as the lead role in the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
JK Rowling — author of the Harry Potter series — will pen the script, with David Yates directing and David Heyman producing, both of which were directly involved in the previous 8 Harry Potter films.
Currently, the movie is set for a worldwide release on November 18, 2016 in 3D and Imax.
So, we know who the main actor will be in the new films, but what character is he playing? What else do we know about the character?
Who Is Eddie Redmayne’s Character?
Eddie Redmayne will be playing Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the new film will be a prequel to the previous movies.
The film is based on yet another book written by JK Rowling which explores many of the magical creatures from the greater Harry Potter universe in detail. Harry Potter actually has a copy of the book — it’s his textbook — in the first novel in the series, The Philosopher’s Stone (The Sorcerer’s Stone originally).
Rowling is actually not listed as the author of the book, despite having written it. She used the pseudonym “Newt Scamander” which you may recognize as the name of Redmayne’s character.
The movie will follow Scamander’s adventures and exploits with the magical creatures of the wizarding world.
What Else Do We Know About Newt Scamander?
Scamander is a magizoologist, otherwise known as an expert in the study of magical creatures. According to an “About the Author” section found in the book, Scamander became a magizoologist because of his obsession with magical beasts and his mother’s strong urges to enter the field. Scamander’s mother is an experienced Hippogriff breeder, renowned in the wizarding universe.
When Scamander attends Hogwarts, he is assigned to the Hufflepuff house because of his propensity for dedication, hard-work, and patience. After graduating, Scamander joins the Ministry of Magic and becomes an integral part of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
He does a few notable things while working for the Ministry of Magic, including drawing up a Werewolf Register in 1947, securing a ban on experimental breeding in 1965, and conducting research for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau.
His many contributions to the field of Magizoology earn him an Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979 which is a prestigious honor in the wizarding world.
Eventually, Scamander retires to the small town of Dorset alongside his wife Porpentina and their threesome of pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly, and Mauler. It’s also worth mentioning that his grandson Rolf marries Luna Lovegood sometime after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wraps up.
As an interesting aside, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film), Newt Scamander’s name appears on the Marauder’s Map. It is never explained why he is shown at Hogwarts. A pretty out-there fan theory is that Scamander is actually an Animagus — like Professor Minerva McGonagall — and can change into a Hippogriff; namely the Hippogriff known as Buckbeak.
Pretty neat theory, huh?
In case you’re wondering, the featured image is Eddie Redmayne’s character from Jupiter Ascending.