Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Katherine Waterston cast as female lead as Robert Lindsay begs for a role

The Inherent Vice star's witch Porpentina will meet Newt Scamander in NYC

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Katherine Waterston has been cast as witch Porpentina in the big screen adaptation of Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The Inherent Vice actress will play the female lead alongside Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander in the first of JK Rowling's films not to be set in London or England.

Waterston's character will meet Scamander "when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures" in the first of at least three films before eventually becoming his wife.

Based on a 42-page textbook set for Hogwarts pupils and published in 2001, Fantastic Beasts follows the adventures of Scamander, who dedicates his life to the search for magical creatures in an "extension" of Potter's fantastical world.

British actor Robert Lindsay soon spotted the opportunity to bid for a role himself, asking Rowling if there were any decent parts "for ageing mildly comedic actors currently bearded but willing to shave".

David Yates will direct Fantastic Beasts, which Rowling hinted last week will see Scamander meet pupils who were educated at an American Hogwarts.

The bestselling author, who is writing the screenplay herself, stopped short of revealing the state-side school's exact name but added that "indigenous magic was important in its founding" and that its title is of "immigrant origin".

"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 shared last September. "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.

Warner Bros has confirmed that Fantastic Beasts is scheduled for worldwide release on 18 November 2016.