The producers who own the rights to the Harry Potter spinoff film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them want Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne to play the lead in the trilogy. The films will be based on a Hogwarts textbook referenced in the original Harry Potter series.

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Redmayne is the number one candidate for the part of the “magical zoologist” Newt Scamander, whose life’s work is chronicled in the book. The actor scored top accolades for his role as scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. In addition to an Academy Award (and many others,) Redmayne won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Warner Bros. announced late last year that a trilogy is in the works with the films arriving in theaters sometime in 2016, 2018 and 2020. Author J.K. Rowling is writing the script for the film. This is her first effort at tackling a screenplay rather than writing a novel.

The story will follow the adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Sources: eonline, IMDb