For a full decade, the Harry Potter movie franchise proved to be a consistent moneymaker for Warner Bros., on its way to becoming one of the highest-grossing film series in history. As such, the studio's decision to forge ahead with the spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not only smart business, but also a wise way to keep the brand alive and well.
The new film - which will center on wizard Newt Scamander's quest to find and document magical creatures - has already put together an impressive team. Potter director David Yates is back onboard; Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) is starring as Mr. Scamander; and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling herself is writing the script. Now the film has added yet another noteworthy talent to its cast/crew.
THR is reporting that Colin Farrell has joined the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The actor will play a wizard named Graves who Newt (Redmayne) encounters in New York, though no further character details have been released. Farrell is currently starring on the second season of HBO's True Detective series and has starred in numerous films (spanning quite the range of genres and tones) in recent years, including hitman comedy/drama In Bruges, the hit comedy Horrible Bosses and the true story-based drama Saving Mr. Banks.
Since crashing into the Hollywood scene in 2002 with a supporting role in Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, Farrell has demonstrated that he can handle comedy and drama with equal measure. However, at this point, his career is in a strong enough place to presume that his role might be key to Fantastic Beasts. Given his experience, it's easy to see Farrell turning out to be the principal villain of the film, as he has gone bad before in everything from Fright Night to Daredevil (2003). Of course, this is purely speculation.
Regardless, the Harry Potter spinoff is assembling a strong cast of supporting players. Along with Redmayne and Farrell, the film will star Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Alison Sudol (Transparent), and Dan Fogler (Ball of Fury). We'll have a while to wait to see if the film is truly worthwhile, but in the meantime, it should give us Muggles something to look forward to.
... And you'd best believe that if Fantastic Beasts is a success, then WB will continue to chronicle Mr. Scamander's adventures in future movies.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters on November 18, 2016.