The Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne is in talks to play the lead role of Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Filmmaker David Yates is directing the big-budget tent-pole for Warner Bros.

Eddie RedmayneEddie Redmayne remains the frontrunner to play the lead in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

According to The Wrap, Redmayne has yet to see a script though has met with Yates to hash out the details. JK Rowling is writing the screenplay herself and both the author and Warners envision this to be a trilogy.

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Sources say that the Mad Max: Fury Road star Nicholas Hoult is also in talks for the role, though it's thought that the studio would prefer Redmayne in the hot seat. A representative for Warner Bros declined to comment on casting rumors surrounding the project.

An extension of the Harry Potter world, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same name, written by Scamander, who as a magiczoologist studies magical creatures.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them will hit theaters on November 18, 2016.  

Meanwhile, Redmayne is currently working on Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl, inspired by the true story of Danish artists Lili Elbe and her wife Gerda. The movie, written by David Ebershoff and Lucinda Coxon, co-stars Alicia Vikander (last seen in Ex-Machina) and Amber Heard.

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