Author JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is being turned into a trilogy of films, based on the life of its fictitious author Newt Scamander.
The book will be familiar to fans of the Harry Potter series, being a required textbook for students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The version published by Rowling is the ‘property of Harry Potter’. But as the story follows the life of Scamander some seventy years before Harry’s story gets under way, Potter will not play a part in these new films.
Indeed, Rowling has described Fantastic Beasts as neither a prequel nor a sequel, rather an extension of the wizarding world.
The story will actually start in 1920s New York, delving into the life of magizoologist (the study of magical creatures) Scamander. He writes in the foreword that he collected most of the information for his book during his travels, so it’s likely he will uncover some magical creatures around the city. As Rowling revealed with a cryptic tweet earlier this month, “Newt only meant to stay in New York for a few hours. Circumstances ensured that he remained… for the length of a movie, anyway.”
While Warner Bros revealed this week that David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter films, will be back to direct at least the first film (set for a 2016 release) there has yet to be any confirmed news on casting.
Well, I’d like to save them some time and suggest Luke Newberry for the leading role…
He almost made it, too. Newberry was cast as Teddy Lupin, the son of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, who was originally meant to appear in the ’19 years later’ epilogue to the series.
“That was the most exciting week of my life and to get the chance to play Teddy Lupin was just amazing,” said Newberry. “[It was] gutting [having my scenes cut]! It was my dream! But I was technically there, on set,” Newberry told RadioTimes.com, his eyes glistening with the ghosts of… oh, wait. Damn Quick-Quotes Quill.
“I was never on screen, so I could always appear,” Newberry added, joking that there could be a Teddy Lupin spin-off show.
But why wait for that? Let’s get him into the role of Newt Scamander, making his mark on the wizarding world. Clearly Newberry can rock a wizard hat and robe, given he’d already made it to playing Teddy. He must have had a wand all picked out for him, too. That’s time saved already.
Newberry’s also got oodles of experience dealing with a fantasy-meets-real-world clash as zombie Kieren from In the Flesh. He got nominated for a Bafta and everything. So he can totally get away with being a magizoologist walking the streets of New York.
Newberry’s also got a strong fan base ready and waiting to join the Fantastic Beasts fun. “I have the nicest fans in the world, they don’t give me any crap when I tweet something, which I know some people do,” he tells us.
Plus, Newberry admits he is sometimes mistaken for David Tennant, who also had a role in the Harry Potter franchise as Barty Crouch Jr (if that makes any sense whatsoever as another reason for him to be cast. Probably not, but I’m ready to try anything).