Eddie Redmayne looks set to play Newt Scamander in JK Rowling's new film trilogy

The actor is in talks to play the author of Hogwarts set text Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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The Independent Culture

Eddie Redmayne is reportedly keen to play the lead in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The best actor Oscar winner is rumoured to have been Rowling’s preferred choice to play ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander the upcoming Warner Bros films.

Redmayne, who won the coveted Academy Award for his turn as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, is “very happy” with the Fantastic Beasts script and would definitely take the role, according to Variety.

Director David Yates, who helmed the final four Harry Potter films, is also said to be considering a few other actors including Nicholas Hoult.

But Rowling, who is making her screenplay writing debut on the trilogy, is said to have a heavy say in the making of the film.

The three films are based on a set text for Hogwarts students which featured in her bestselling Harry Potter series and will follow the adventures of Scamander in an “extension” of Potter’s fantastical world.

The release date for the first movie is slated for 18 November 2016, two days before the 15th anniversary of Rowling’s first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The subsequent films are currently planned for 2018 and 2020.

Rowling revealed some details to fans last September: “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,” she wrote. “But Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

The Harry Potter franchise remains the most successful in history, having grossed a massive $7.7 billion in worldwide box office earnings.

Rowling recently spoke out on Twitter over abuse she received as a pro-Labour and Scottish independence 'No campaign' supporter.

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