Eddie Redmayne, 34, has joined J.K. Rowling’s wizard universe as writer Newt Scamander in the upcoming fantasy flick, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the Harry Potter author’s book set before the Hogwarts series. For producer David Heyman and his team, casting Eddie was a no-brainer thanks to his likable nature and talent, with an Oscar and Golden Globe to his name.
“Newt is someone who communicates better with his creatures than he does with people,” Heyman smiled to Total Film magazine. “He’s a Brit who finds himself in the US, and the American magical universe is different from the British one. Eddie was our first choice. He’s very good at playing characters that are out of step, as it were, and bringing to them a real heart and compassion. He has a desire to bring truth to every moment. He’s very charming and appealing to men and women alike. And he’s a timeless actor, so he fits perfectly into 1920s New York.”
Newt causes trouble when his box of beasts is left open, allowing the creatures to escape into the Big Apple. The briefcase itself has a Mary Poppins-like quality in that it doesn’t appear to be big, but can hold countless things in it.
Heyman teased fans over what they can expect from the visuals in the film, adding: “The beasts are going to be all shapes and sizes! They’re all going to be digital. These are extraordinary creatures. I don’t know how they could do this practically – as wonderful as animatronics are, you can’t get the detailed movement or flexibility that you can with the digital universe.”
Joining Redmayne in the stellar line-up are Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Ezra Miller and Samantha Morton.