Monday, June 15, 2015

Katherine Waterston to star alongside Eddie Redmayne in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

Even though the Harry Potter saga ended in 2011 with Deathly Hallows- Part 2, everybody knew that Warner Bros. wouldn't be able to let go of their iconic franchise that easily. They couldn't really make sequels to the series, but spin-offs and prequels were always in the realm of possibility. In 2013, Warner Bros. and Potter author J.K. Rowling announced that they'd be producing a spin-off series known as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Based on a textbook from Harry's school days, Fantastic Beasts would allow for new stories to be told in the Potter-verse, and with a screenplay from Rowling herself, as well as the return of director David Yates, fans began to get excited for the impending spin-offs. Earlier this year, Warner Bros. confirmed that Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne would star in the film as Newt Scamander, the magizoologist and author of the novel. The hunt was on for a female lead to star in the film, and as of today, that search is over.

Warner Bros. announced this morning that Inherent Vice star Katherine Waterston will star in the film along with Redmayne. Waterston will play Porpetina, a US-based witch who crosses paths with Newt during his adventures in New York. For those who haven't kept up with the news, Fantastic Beasts will be set in the 1920s in New York, and could possibly involve an American magic school akin to Hogwarts. So while we don't know much about the film, it is clear that Warner Bros. is really trying to do something different here.

As for Waterston, she's a fantastic actress and I'm excited that she was cast as the lead. Out of all of the actresses who reportedly tested for the role, Waterston was undoubtedly the best choice and I'm glad that the producers went with her. The interesting thing is that Waterston is British, and according to the Warner Bros. press release, Tina is an American character. Certainly interesting, but I'm sure Waterston will make it work. This cast is shaping up nicely so far, and I'm glad that Warner Bros. is insuring that good actors will be appearing in this movie.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is one of the most tantalizing projects in recent memory, because it could go in so many directions. The Potter franchise was an integral part of my childhood, and part of me wants them to leave the Potter-verse alone in fear of a trilogy that can't quite match up (think The Hobbit or the Star Wars prequels). Yet with the talent involved, I can't help but get excited for this film. Rowling is starting from scratch here and she has an awesome sandbox of tools to work with. Hopefully she can make something great out of this promising material. Fantastic Beasts hits theaters on November 18, 2016 and I'm sure that we'll be hearing more about this film in the near future. 

Image Credits: Harry Potter wikia

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