Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander …
Eddie Redmayne has been announced as Newt Scamander in the continuiation of the Harry Potter Franchise in the film adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find them short book that was released in 2001 as part of Comic Relief along with another book, Quidditch Through the Ages. (I’m lucky enough to have bought both of them at the time of publication!)
Eddie Redmayne’s star shone brighter than anyone’s in the acting world last year when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Arguably, this played a big part in him getting the role as he is a youngish British actor who is respected on both sides of the Atlantic. He has starred in other films such as Les Miserables and My Week with Marilyn.
To be honest, ever since Rowling’s announcement that the film will be set in New York, I have been sceptical. Not only has the whole Harry Potter series been based in Britain with British actors, but even any references to other countries in the books and films are of countries that are in continental Europe or Africa. When I first heard it was being set in New York, I thought it was basically Warner Bros angling it that way as a means to make more money and to capitalise on the Harry Potter Theme Park it has in Florida. Even in the book that the film will be based on, there are only half a dozen or so beasts that have origins in North America, (clabberts, dugbog, jobberknoll, knarl a nogtail and a re’em) and all of them are not as half as dangerous as the beasts in Britain, continental Europe and Africa. The only way Rowling can get Newt to encounter dangerous beasts such as; acromantulas, basilisks, dragons, chimaeras, manticores and others is by having all of these beasts and more travelling to New York as well, unless there are lots of dangerous beasts that are already in New York that Rowling forgot to mention in her book. However, I will put my scepticism aside and be hopeful of a terrific film as we enter the magical universe that Rowling has created.