As part of Entertainment Weekly’s First Look for 2016 films the films producer and director talk about casting Newt.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Nov. 18)
Finding an actor with the right mix of qualities to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was even tougher than concocting one of Snape’s potions. Producer David Heyman and director David Yates, who worked together on the final four Harry Potter films, needed a leading man for this prequel with enough charisma to play the globetrotting 1920s magizoologist who carries with him a weathered case of creatures, but he knew a big name might have too much, well, baggage to inhabit the role. Enter Eddie Redmayne, fresh from his Oscar win for The Theory of Everything. “He’s good at playing outsiders; Newt is a bit of an eccentric, and we felt Eddie could do that with truth,” Heyman explains. –James Hibberd