Eddie Redmayne will star in Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros has officially confirmed.
The actor will play pre-eminent Wizarding World magizoologist, Newt Scamander, who writes the famous Hogwarts School textbook that gives the film its title.
JK Rowling is making her screenwriting debut on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The film’s director David Yates said: “Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity.”
David Yates added: “I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in JK Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”
The movie follows the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander – a specialist in magical animals – who travels the Wizarding World to document the beasts he encounters.
Newt Scamander writes a book – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – which is then studied years later by Hogwarts students such as Harry, Ron and Hermoine.
David Yates previously directed the final four Harry Potter films, while producer David Heyman – who worked on all eight of the blockbusters – will produce the film.
Greg Silverman from Warner Bros Pictures said they were “thrilled” to have cast Eddie Redmayne – who had been widely rumored to take the part – calling him “one of today’s most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors”.
Earlier this year Eddie Redmayne won the best actor Oscar, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award for his performance as Stephen Hawking in biopic The Theory of Everything.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is expected to be released in 3D and Imax worldwide on November 18, 2016.