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Eddie Redmayne reportedly in talks for Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Dan MacMedan/WireImage

Crumple-horned snorkacks may be difficult to pin down, but Oscar-winning actors are perhaps not, especially when they’re up for the lead role in one of Hollywood’s biggest new film franchises.

Variety reports newly-minted Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne is officially in talks for the role of Newt Scamander, the leading man at the center of Warner Bros.’ upcoming Harry Potter spin-off film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Reps for Warner Bros. and Eddie Redmayne had no official comment on the casting discussions.

Scamander is perhaps one of the most coveted new roles in the franchise circuit right now, as Fantastic Beasts is being touted as a “megamovie” trilogy, the first film of which is written by J.K. Rowling herself and directed by David Yates.

Fantastic Beasts follows the life of Newt Scamander, an author and expert of magical creatures (and, as was revealed recently, a Hufflepuff!) who begins his animal research in turn-of-the-century New York before going on to write the eponymous guide to the wizarding world’s most elusive beasts. The story begins in 1918, seventy years before Harry Potter’s commences.