Eddie Redmayne Cast As 'Fantastic Beasts' Lead. Get Excited, 'Harry Potter' Fans

Expecto amazing

Though the "Harry Potter" film franchise is ostensibly aimed at children, we all know the Wizarding World fandom actually includes everyone from toddlers to grandparents—and a few Oscars winners as well. The cast list for the eight movies reads like a who's who of British film royalty: Maggie Smith, Kenneth Branagh, John Cleese, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, etc. Now, the newest film in the "Harry Potter" universe, the prequel "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," can also add an acclaimed actor to its cast list. Eddie Redmayne will star in "Fantastic Beasts" as the famed magizoologist Newt Scamander. Redmayne is the most recent winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor, for playing Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" last year.

If the name Newt Scamander rings a bell, it's because that character is the author of the "Fantastic Beasts" textbook Harry and his friends use at Hogwarts. Scamander lived in New York, about a century before the events in the "Harry Potter" series take place. His expeditions to find new, exotic magical species took him all over the world.

"Fantastic Beasts" is notable not only for its exciting cast, but also because J.K. Rowling is penning the script, her first foray into screenwriting.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" will come to theaters Nov. 18, 2016.