Eddie Redmayne Eyed for 'Harry Potter' Spinoff

6:50 AM EDT 4/13/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Eddie Redmayne, 33, the recent Oscar winner for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the The Theory of Everything biopic movie, is the favorite to play the character Newt Scamander in Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spinoff from the Harry Potter book and film series, according to Variety.

Redmayne, who just wrapped Tom Hooper's biopic The Danish Girl where he played the transgender artist Lili Elbe, has yet to receive an official offer from the studio, but sources reportedly told the entertainment news site that he is the frontrunner for the leading role in the live-action big-screen adaptation of another J.K. Rowling book.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set 70 years before the events of the Potter series and centers on magizoologist Newton Artemis Fido Scamander, the author of a required textbook used in a first-year course at Hogwarts which contains the history of Magizoology and describes 75 magical species found around the world.

Rowling herself would be making her screenwriting debut with the first of a planned series of films based on her Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book as part of an expanded creative partnership with the studio. In previous interviews, she said that the new film franchise, which will focus on the life of Newt Scamander, will neither be a direct prequel nor sequel to the Harry Potter series, though will be set in the same world as the book series. The first film will be set seventy years prior to the Potter films, in 1920s New York. 

David Heyman, who produced all the Harry Potter movies, will be back for the spinoff series. David Yates is confirmed to direct the first installment of a possible trilogy. The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie is announced for release on November 18, 2016. 

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