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.”
JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts book, which was published in 2001, is set 70 years before the events of her bestselling Harry Potter series.
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.
David Ryall, known for playing Elphias Doge in the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows, has died at the age of 79.
The actor passed away on Christmas Day but no more information has been given.
David Ryall had a five-decade career across film, TV and theatre, including in movie The Elephant Man and on TV, The Village and Outnumbered.
Daughter Charlie Ryall said: “Please take a moment to remember his huge five-decade-spanning career outside of the more well-known TV & film.”
David Ryall replaced Peter Cartwright as Elphias Doge in 2010’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
His character was a close friend of Albus Dumbledore in addition to being a Ministry of Magic jurist and an Order of the Phoenix member.
David Ryall’s other film roles included parts in 2004’s Around the World in 80 Days, 1990’s Truly, Madly, Deeply and 1980’s The Elephant Man.
He began his career on the stage before becoming a familiar face on British TV.
He received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1962, during which time he won the Caryl Brahams Award for a musical.
David Ryall went on to join Laurence Olivier’s company with the National Theatre, during which time he was involved in several well-known plays, such as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
David Ryall is survived by his son, music manager Jonathan Ryall, and two daughters, singer Imogen Ryall and actress Charlie Ryall.
British author JK Rowling has explained the meaning behind a cryptic tweet sent earlier this week, scotching hopes that it referred to a new Harry Potter story.
On October 6, JK Rowling posted an anagram: “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.”
Some fans translated it as: “Harry Returns! Won’t say any details now! A week off! No comment.”
However, JK Rowling later confirmed that it was really the first line from the synopsis for a film screenplay she is writing.
After one follower suggested: “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours”, she replied: “YES!!!!!!!!!!!! People, we have a winner!”
Newt Scamander was the fictional author of a textbook on magical animals that featured in the Harry Potter novels.
JK Rowling herself released the book, titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in 2001 to raise money for Comic Relief.
JK Rowling confirmed that her cryptic tweet was really the first line from the synopsis for a film screenplay she is writing
Now, Newt Scamander is going to be the main character in a film trilogy inspired by that textbook.
JK Rowling is currently working on the screenplay for the first film, which is expected to be set in 1920s New York after Newt Scamander was commissioned to travel the world and compile a guide to magical beasts.
She later tweeted that the anagram was “the first sentence of a synopsis of Newt’s story”, adding: “It isn’t part of the script, but sets the scene.”
JK Rowling then wrote: “Newt only meant to stay in New York for a few hours. Circumstances ensured that he remained… for the length of a movie, anyway. X”
The first film is due to be released in 2016.
JK Rowling has previously said: “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.
“The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”
Author JK Rowling has published a short biography of Celestina Warbeck, a minor character from her Harry Potter books on the fan website Pottermore.com.
Celestina Warbeck is a glamorous singing sorceress resembling Shirley Bassey and a favorite of Mrs. Molly Weasley’s.
JK Rowling has published a short biography of Celestina Warbeck on the fan website Pottermore.com
The new backstory for Celestina Warbeck, who was only mentioned briefly in the series about a boy wizard, was posted online Monday along with one of her songs, recorded by a singer at the Harry Potter theme park at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida.
JK Rowling calls Celestina Warbeck one of her favorite “offstage” characters in the whole series.
The author writes that Celestina Warbeck’s special abilities include tap-dancing and an extraordinary voice that can “drown out a chorus of banshees”.
JK Rowling has revealed her crime novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith will eventually outnumber her Harry Potter books.
The author said her plans as Robert Galbraith were “pretty open ended” and that his books would number more than the seven Harry Potter novels she wrote.
The second novel under Robert Galbraith’s name was published in June, and she said she was half-way through writing the third.
JK Rowling was speaking at a rare public talk at Harrogate’s Crime Writing Festival.
Robert Galbraith’s novels follow private detective Cormoran Strike, a former military police investigator in the Special Investigation Branch.
JK Rowling, who began using the pseudonym for her crime writing career after completing the Harry Potter series, said the third Robert Galbraith novel would centre on returning military personnel.
JK Rowling has revealed her crime novels written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith will eventually outnumber her Harry Potter books (photo CNN)
She was interviewed on stage in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, on Friday by fellow crime author Val McDermid.
Asked whether it was true that she would write a total of seven novels under the Galbraith name, JK Rowling replied: “It’s not seven. It’s more. It’s pretty open ended.
“I really love writing these books, so I don’t know that I’ve got an end point in mind.
“One of the things I absolutely love about this genre is that, unlike Harry, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and an end, you’re talking about discrete stories. So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases.”
JK Rowling added: “I’m about half-way through the third [novel] and I’ve just started plotting the fourth.”
Wearing a grey suit and pink tie, which she described as “my Robert suit”, JK Rowling told the audience that she started writing under a pseudonym because: “I wanted to prove to myself that I could get a book published on the merits of the book.”
Asked why she chose to write crime stories after the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling replied: “I love crime fiction. I’ve always loved it. I read a lot of it and I think, in many ways, that the Harry Potter books are whodunnits in disguise.
“I enjoy, I suppose, the ‘golden age’ book. That’s very much what I was trying to do in these books – to take that finite number of suspects, the genuine whodunnit style, but make it very contemporary, bring it up to date, and make sure this is a credible person with a credible back story for nowadays.”
Referring to the “golden age”, JK Rowling said she was a fan of authors Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh, who wrote in the mid-20th Century.
“My very favorite of those four is Allingham, and she’s the least known,” she said.
“The Tiger in the Smoke is a phenomenal novel.”
JK Rowling is also currently working on her first film script, for Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
JK Rowling has published a new short story about Harry Potter on her Pottermore fan website, set during the Quidditch world cup final.
The 1,500-word tale is written in the style of a newspaper column by Daily Prophet reporter, Rita Skeeter.
The article reports that Harry Potter took his sons James and Albus to visit the world cup compound “where he introduced them to Bulgarian seeker Victor Krum”.
Rita Skeeter then speculates on the absence of Harry Potter’s wife Ginny at the event.
“Are cracks beginning to show in a union that the Potters are determined to promote as happy?”
JK Rowling has published a new short story about Harry Potter on her Pottermore fan website, set during the Quidditch world cup final
Quidditch is the fictional game played on broomsticks that features in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.
Harry Potter is about to turn 34 in JK Rowling’s latest story, which can be accessed by registering on the Pottermore website.
The former boy wizard now “sports a nasty cut over his right cheekbone” along with his famous lightning scar. His hair is said to be slightly greying.
There is no mention of Harry and Ginny’s third child, Lily, who is referred to in the epilogue of Rowling’s final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Hermione, who now has two children with her husband Ron, is now deputy head of the department of magical law enforcement.
Ron is now full-time at his brothers’ joke shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
JK Rowling had said in previous interviews that Ron was an auror with Harry Potter at the ministry of magic but Rita Skeeter now claims he has had to leave for unknown reasons.
Now working for his brothers’ joke emporium Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, she claims Ron has had to step away from his job at the Ministry of Magic for reasons he has not revealed to the public.
The article also refers to other well-known characters from the Harry Potter series, including Luna Lovegood and Fleur Delacour.
JK Rowling, who is a supporter of the Hacked Off campaign which is putting pressure on newspapers to put into practice the Royal Charter on press self-regulation, has also penned a tongue-in-cheek reference to the media and privacy.
“One always hesitates to invade the privacy of young people, but the fact is that anyone closely connected with Harry Potter reaps the benefits and must pay the penalty of the public interest.”
More than 450 million copies of JK Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books, the first of which was published in 1997, have been sold worldwide.
Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is to be made into a film trilogy.
JK Rowling’s book, published in 2001, was originally billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks.
Warner Bros chief Kevin Tsujihara persuaded JK Rowling to adapt the book for the big screen.
Last week, he told the New York Times there would be a trilogy of films based on the book, which follows a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander.
Newt Scamander is the author of a guide to magical creatures. Set in New York, the book is neither a sequel nor a prequel, but an “extension” of Harry Potter’s “wizarding world”, JK Rowling said.
Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is to be made into a film trilogy
Last month, JK Rowling told actress Emma Watson, who played Hermione Grainger in the Harry Potter films, that she completed the draft script in 12 days.
JK Rowling herself told the newspaper that it was Kevin Tsujihara – who took over the role of CEO at Warner Bros last year – who persuaded her to adapt the book.
“We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting,” the author told the New York Times.
“When Kevin got the top job, he brought a new energy, which rubbed off. He’s a very engaging person, thoughtful and funny.”
The project, which was first announced in September 2013, will be produced by Harry Potter regular David Heyman, whose recent successes include Gravity.
“I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it,” said JK Rowling when the film was announced last year.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was written by JK Rowling between the publication of the fourth and the fifth books in the Harry Potter series. It is set 70 years before we first meet Harry Potter.
More than 450 million copies of JK Rowling’s seven Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide.
Aside from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, JK Rowling also wrote the short book Quidditch Through the Ages – another of Harry Potter’s schoolbooks. They were published in aid of Comic Relief.
Another Harry Potter spin-off book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, followed in December 2008.
J.K. Rowling is continuing to expand Harry Potter’s wizarding world with her new website, Pottermore.com.
On Friday, J.K. Rowling released the first chapter in a new, 2,400-word story about the Quidditch World Cup.
Although Quidditch has been part of Harry Potter series from the beginning, and Harry and Ron even attend the massive World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was released in 2000, J.K. Rowling’s new story seems to take direct inspiration from the logistical struggles of the Sochi Olympics and upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
J.K. Rowling released the first chapter of a new Harry Potter story about the Quidditch World Cup
“The ICWQC [International Confederations of Wizards Quidditch Committee] has the unlucky job of regulating this contentious and anarchic competition,” J.K. Rowling writes.
“A source of vehement disagreements, a security risk for all who attend it and a frequent focus for unrest and protest, the Quidditch World Cup is simultaneously the most exhilarating sporting event on earth and a logistical nightmare for the host nation.”
The chapter goes on to list some of the most controversial rules and moments in the tournament, which stretches back to 1473, including not just the Death Eater-driven events of Goblet of Fire, but also the Attack of the Killer Forest in 1809 and Royston Idelwind and the Dissimulators of 1971.
JK Rowling’s lawyer, who revealed she is actually crime writer Robert Galbraith, has been fined £1,000 ($1,500) for breaching privacy rules.
Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells Solicitors, has also been issued with a written rebuke from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
He confided in his wife’s best friend that JK Rowling had written The Cuckoo’s Calling under a pseudonym.
It was then publicly revealed by The Sunday Times in July last year.
JK Rowling took legal action later that month against Chris Gossage and his friend Judith Callegari, who had revealed the information during a Twitter exchange with journalist India Knight.
Harry Potter author accepted an apology from the law firm and substantial damages, in the form of a charity donation.
JK Rowling took legal action later that month against Chris Gossage and his friend Judith Callegari, who had revealed she is actually crime writer Robert Galbraith
In a ruling issued on November 26 but made public on December 30, the SRA said that “by disclosing confidential information about a client to a third party” Chris Gossage had breached several principles of its rules and code of conduct.
The breaches included failing to “act in the best interests of each client” and a rule that members should “behave in a way that maintains the trust the public places in you and in the provision of legal services”.
JK Rowling, who had only told a “tiny number” of people about her pen name, said she had assumed she “could expect total confidentiality” from Russells Solicitors.
“I feel very angry that my trust turned out to be misplaced,” she said in a statement in July.
“To say that I am disappointed is an understatement.”
The law firm said Robert Galbraith’s true identity was revealed by Chris Gossage “during a private conversation” and that “the disclosure was made in confidence to someone he trusted implicitly”.
The Cuckoo’s Calling, about a war veteran turned private investigator, had originally sold just 1,500 copies but within hours of JK Rowling being publicly named, it had risen more than 5,000 places to top Amazon’s sales list.
JK Rowling decided all royalties should be donated to The Soldiers’ Charity.
Award-winning performer Richard Griffiths, who appeared as Uncle Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter films, was hailed as one of the greatest and most-loved British actors by a string of his co-stars and colleagues.
Richard Griffiths, who had struggled with declining health in recent years, is thought to have been admitted to hospital for a heart bypass.
A friend said: “He had the operation, came out of it and there were massive complications. His heart and body gave way. He had had myriad health problems over the last five years and in the last three to four months he was getting increasingly breathless.”
Richard Griffiths died on March 29 at the age of 65 from complications following heart surgery
Richard Griffiths was also best known for his role as inspirational teacher Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys – which earned him a Laurence Olivier award – and for playing Uncle Monty in cult film Withnail & I.
The actor was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2008. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who also performed with Richard Griffiths in the stage play Equus at the age of 17, praised the actor’s “encouragement, tutelage and humor”.
Daniel Radcliff said: “Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”
Fellow Withnail & I star Richard E. Grant said: “Chin-Chin my dear friend. I feel too gutted to talk without falling apart. Suffice to say I feel I’ve lost my adored Uncle Monty.”
Richard Griffiths’ family last night refused to comment on whether the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire, renowned for its treatment of heart problems, were at fault.
Richard Griffiths died on Thursday at the age of 65 from complications following heart surgery .
Long-term friend Jane Harrison, 70, said: “Richard was wonderful but he was showing his age towards the end. No one knew just how poorly he really was.”
A spokesman for Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital said: “We are aware of this situation and we have been in touch with our executive. We cannot give out any further information due to patient confidentiality.”
Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery.
Richard Griffiths enjoyed a long career of success on film and on TV, but also on the stage where he was a Tony-winning character actor.
TV roles included a cookery-loving detective in Pie in the Sky.
Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery
Richard Griffiths was best known for playing Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films and Uncle Monty in Withnail and I.
On stage, Richard Griffiths’ most acclaimed performance was as the charismatic teacher Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys.
After achieving a rare double of winning a Tony Award in New York and an Olivier Award in London, he recreated the role in a 2006 film version.
But it was his role as the predatory Uncle Monty in Withnail And I – which has become of one of the biggest cult classics in British cinema history – that made him a fan favorite.
Richard Griffiths was born in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, UK, and left school at 15 but later returned to education to study drama, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The actor married Heather Gibson in 1980 after they met during a production of Lady Windermere’s Fan in 1973.
Richard Griffiths’ TV career saw him land bit parts in series such as Minder, The Sweeney and Bergerac, while he also played small parts in major movies such as Chariots of Fire, Superman II and Gandhi.
Well respected by his peers, Richard Griffiths was appointed an OBE in the 2008 New Year Honours for his services to drama.
In 2012 Richard Griffiths appeared alongside Danny Devito in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys at London’s Savoy Theatre.
One of his most recent roles was in the drama Private Peaceful where he played The Colonel alongside Frances de la Tour and Maxine Peake.