Eddie Redmayne arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Jordan Strauss—Invision/AP
By Ashley Ross
June 3, 2015

It wasn’t terribly surprising when Warner Bros. announced that Eddie Redmayne had been cast in the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Rumors had been buzzing for months about him stepping into the role, so much it seemed Rita Skeeter herself was the one teasing the story.

This means the recent Oscar winner will be officially spearheading the on-screen story of Newt Scamander, the wizarding world’s leading zoologist, responsible for researching Thestrals, Hippogriffs, Norwegian Ridgebacks and more.

J.K. Rowling, who is penning the screenplay herself, chimed in on Twitter about the news.

“‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling said in a statement late last year. “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, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

The film is scheduled to hit theaters Nov. 18, 2016.

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