Who will star in the upcoming ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff?

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HARTFORD – After the movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in 2001, author J.K. Rowling also released a book called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

It was a different kind of book, penned under the name Newt Scamander, a “magiczoologist”, and purporting to be Harry Potter’s exact copy from the series, a required textbook from his first year at Hogwarts.  It was a fun book to write, according to Rowling, who thought the topic of magical creatures would have widespread interest, and provide further information on beings touched upon in the previous seven-part book series.

On September 12, 2013, Warner Bros., who produced the eight-part Harry Potter film series, and Rowling announced that a new Pottermore trilogy would be produced, beginning with a film inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The film, featuring Rowling herself as the screenwriter, will feature Newt Scamander as the main character, set in New York 70 years before Harry’s story starts, and following his many escapades with a variety of magical creatures.

“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,” Rowling explained of the trilogy.

2011-toronto-film-festival-portraits-62973New information has been released that British actor Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) is the studio’s first choice for Newt Scamander. Director David Yates, who also directed the last four of the previous Harry Potter movies, is said to be considering a few other actors for the part, such as Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) but Redmayne, according to sources, is the frontrunner.

Besides Scamander, there are four other main roles — two American girls and two American boys — that the studio is currently looking to cast.

The first of this new Pottermore trilogy is expected to be released in theaters on November 18, 2016.