Fans of The Boy Who Lived and last year’s acclaimed drama “The Theory of Everything” now have cause for celebration: Eddie Redmayne has been confirmed as the lead star of the new wizardry film “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.” And for those of you who scratch their heads and quickly head to a computer to figure out what “Beasts” even is — don’t worry, we’ll fill you in.
Set 70 years before “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone,” the film follows 1920’s collector Newton Scamander (Redmayne) as he travels New York in search of magical creatures. As to whether the story provides a closer tie to the Potter universe is something that remains to be seen in the cinematic world — unless of course, you’ve read the books.
This return to the world of magic also reteams Harry Potter producer David Heyman, director David Thewlis, and storytelling mastermind J.K. Rowling as a first-time screenwriter. And if the pot isn’t yet sweet enough, the recent addition to this announcement is that the picture will be the first in a trilogy that will have subsequent releases in 2018 and 2020.
Recently appointed star Redmayne, fresh off of an Academy Award for best actor, couldn’t be more thrilled and is “hugely excited” to come onboard Rowling’s universe — even referring to the author as a “genius.” It’s clear that Rowling and Co. weren’t going to let all the magical prequel points go to Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” series, and with a November release date set for next year — it’s once again time to dig up your Hogwarts cloaks and Olivander’s wands.
(Editor’s Note: Danilo Castro is a resident of Oro Valley and writer for the Film Noir Archive blog at www.filmnoirarchive.com)