Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne is joining the Harry Potter franchise as the lead in spin-off series Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
The Theory of Everything star was reportedly the producers' first choice to play the lead character in the film adaptation of author J.K. Rowling's 2001 book.
On Monday (01Jun15), representatives for Warner Bros. Pictures took to Twitter.com to confirm his casting, and wrote, "Oscar winner #EddieRedmayne enters the Wizarding World as Newt Scamander in #FantasticBeasts and Where to Find Them."
Warner Bros. Pictures' President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman praises Redmayne's talents in a statement which reads: "Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today's most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors. We are thrilled to welcome him into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set 70 years before the events of the Potter series and centers on a fictitious author named Newton Artemis Fido Scamander.
Filmmaker David Yates, who directed the final four installments of the Potter franchise, will direct the project, which is set for a November, 2016 release.