2016 sees the arrival of several highly anticipated films, including Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Eddie Redmayne stars at Newt Scamander, the magizoologist who travels the world documenting his discoveries of Fantastic Beasts and their whereabouts. His findings eventually lead to him writing the textbook which the film is named after, which students at Hogwarts study in the future.
In recent weeks we have gotten our first images and poster released, followed by more shots from filming and, best of all, a teaser trailer which promises yet another magical adventure in the Wizarding World. Fantastic Beasts is set in 1920s New York, and follows Scamander as he tries to recapture some of his beastly findings when they accidentally escape. Not only does this upset the Wizarding world, but it also means Newt and his allies must go to great lengths to keep the creatures away from Muggles (or, as they’re known in the U.S., No-Maj), who are fearful of witchcraft and wizardry.
EW have now released another new image from the Fantastic Beasts movie, which shows Redmayne as Newt, along with Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs) as Porpentina Goldstein and Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) as Jacob Kowalski, creeping tentatively along a hallway, seemingly fearful of what waits behind the door. Have a look, below.
The Fantastic Beasts script is written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates, noted for directing four of the Harry Potter films in the franchise. Along with Redmayne, Waterston and Fogler, Fantastic Beasts also stars Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, and Ron Perlman, among others.
Producer David Heyman told EW that when it came to casting the role of Newt, the Fantastic Beasts team needed to find someone who possessed just the right qualities for the role and who wasn’t too big of a star just yet. Redmayne had just won his Oscar for his role in The Theory of Everything, which (naturally) helped to land him the role.
“He’s good at playing outsiders; Newt is a bit of an eccentric, and we felt Eddie could do that with truth.”
It’s certainly true that Redmayne brings a real sense of open honesty and vulnerability to his roles, which is maybe why he seems so likeable. In Les Miserables, as Marius, he elicits much empathy from the audience as well as hope for Marius to succeed in all he does. Again, in The Danish Girl, Redmayne has done a fine job of tackling a culturally sensitive role with the tact and decorum it needed, while maintaining an integrity and truth to his performance that really tugs at the heartstrings. Of course, perhaps his finest moment has been the portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything; a role in which he shone, and won over the hearts of millions for his superbly accurate and heartfelt performance.
Newt Scamander marks yet another change in direction for Redmayne; one could certainly never say he’s typecast. As an actor, he pushes himself to try different genres, and to really stretch his abilities. Fantastic Beasts is a standalone film and not connected to the Harry Potter movies but Heyman has also previously said it’s closest in nature to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; a film that became known for holding a great deal of comedy as well as a lot of drama and suspense. It will be intriguing to see Redmayne take all this on, as well as seeing how one of the biggest fandoms in the world reacts to this spinoff, when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016.