Eddie Redmayne confirmed to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts

Via ET online

Eddie Redmayne — pic via ET online

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne will play Newt Scamander in the upcoming film adaption of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros. confirmed today.

The confirmation today comes after months of speculation of who would play Newt. Redmayne will play the famed Scamander, a magizoologist who discovers a number of magical creatures, leading to a documentation of his travels in the form of Fantastic Beasts.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling published a version of the book as part of the Hogwarts Library Collection in 2001 for charity.

From the press release, David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, stated, “Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity. I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way.”

Over the past few years, Eddie Redmayne has rose to prominence with roles in the 2012 musical film Les Miserables and My Week with Mairlyn. Redmayne garnered international praise for his performance as Stephen Hawking in last year’s The Theory of Everything, for which he won an Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters worldwide in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ series to film at Leavesden Studios

Leavesden Studios, U.K.

Leavesden Studios, U.K.

Warner Bros. confirmed last week that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will film at Leavesden Studios, where the Harry Potter series was filmed.

Though the new films will begin in New York, the series will be shot at Leavesden near London, the same studio where the Harry Potter series was filmed for 10 years. After filming was completed for Harry Potter, Warner Bros. purchased the studios and opened the Harry Potter Studio Tour, featuring sets from the Potter movies.

Not much is known about the series besides that it will follow the story of Newt Scamander. First announced last September, Fantastic Beasts will be penned by first-time screenwriter J.K. Rowling. In the wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a required Hogwarts textbook written by magizoologist Newt Scamander. J.K. Rowling published the real Fantastic Beasts book as a companion to the Harry Potter series for charity in 2001.

Related: J.K. Rowling to make screenwriting debut on ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ adaption

The announcement that Fantastic Beasts filming at Leavesden comes after Warner Bros. recent statement that it would expand the Leavesden complex. The Hollywood Reporter reports WB is planning three “new state-of-the-art stages” and the addition of a further 100,000 square feet of office space.

Fantastic Beasts will be produced by David Heyman, who also produced Harry Potter. The first film in an expected trilogy will be released on November 18, 2016. No director or cast has been named yet, but Pottermore News will keep you updated with the latest.

‘Harry Potter’ producer David Heyman talks ‘Fantastic Beasts’

David Heyman

David Heyman

Three weeks ago we shared with you that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would be penning the screenplay of a film based on her Harry Potter-tie-in book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the initial announcement we learned that the film would be set around the character of Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts” and set 70 years prior to the Harry Potter series, in New York.

Over the past few weeks, the Internet has been a frenzy with news and rumors surrounding the upcoming film, and while on the media circuit for his new film GravityHarry Potter producer David Heyman has shared some interesting information about Fantastic Beasts.

Yesterday: David Heyman to produce ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adaptation

While speaking to EW this week, David Heyman said that although Rowling has not turned in a finished script just yet, she is “‘at work'” with the project, and is “tremendously” excited about it.

According to EW, the producer said, “She’s not doing it for any other reason other than she loves the world and she had a story that she wanted to tell…” He reminded us, however, that this is not Harry Potter, meaning it does not follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but that it is a separate story in the same universe. When asked specifically about which creatures we might see in the film, Heyman said, “We follow Newt on his adventures.”

At the end, Heyman also commented on the amount of backstory that Jo has for her characters, saying that “…Jo’s knowledge of [the Harry Potter world] is infinite.” This is proven on Pottermore, in her exclusive content entries, and we’re sure that even the Pottermore content isn’t all.

David Heyman also spoke to Vulture about possible actors to play Newt in Fantastic Beasts. Here’s the list of names Vulture suggested to Heyman, and his comments, direct from the article:

  • Dev Patel (“He’s a really good actor,” Heyman agreed.)

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster, despite the fact that he’s playing another character named Newt in The Maze Runner (“I know him, he’s excellent.”)

  • Jack Gleeson, who’s said he wants to go into academia after his reign as King Joffrey on Game of Thrones ends, but perhaps could be convinced to play an academic instead (“How old is he?” Heyman asked. “Newt is a tiny bit older.”)

  • Bret McKenzie, who is much older, but can play younger (“He’s really good.”)

  • And if they wanted to promote from within, Harry Melling, who originally played Dudley Dursley but has thinned out considerably as he’s grown up, which is why he was wearing a fat suit in Deathly Hallows (“He’s a really good actor, and I love his work, but that’s a little more difficult because he’s been Dudley.”)

This is clearly not the end of Fantastic Beasts speculation and news, and we’ll be keeping you updated on the film over the coming months (and years!).

Confirmed: ‘Potter’ producer David Heyman to produce ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film

David Heyman

David Heyman

It has been speculated over the past few weeks, and he has even hinted it himself, but it has now been confirmed: Harry Potter producer David Heyman will produce Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Related: New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adaptation announced

Heyman confirmed the news to MTV last night, while on a press tour for his upcoming film Gravity. The news isn’t really a surprise, as Heyman produced all eight Harry Potter films, meaning he would be well-associated with the Warner Bros. company and J.K. Rowling. We expect a formal announcement in the coming weeks.

With Heyman as producer and Rowling as screenwriter, Potter fans should feel very confident that this will be the best possible portrayal of the story and the Wizarding World. Heyman, a notable Potter fan, delivered the films greatly, and is responsible for discovering the first book for film. We learned Rowling would be writing the screenplay for the film in the initial announcement, and so we can be confident that nothing will be left out.

There is no release date on the project just yet, but we’ll keep you updated on the latest news in the coming weeks and months.

Tell us below: What do you think about Heyman producing? Do you think it will be a good fit?

Harry Potter cast and crew react to ‘Fantastic Beasts’ news

Over the past few days, we’ve been hearing from the cast and crew of the Harry Potter films in reaction to the news that J.K. Rowling would be penning a screenplay based off of her Harry Potter-tie in book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Related: J.K. Rowling to pen ‘Fantastic Beasts’ screenplay

The first to comment was the ever-so-quirky and Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film series, and who is a notable fan of the books. She  tweeted about the news on the day of the announcement:

She also tweeted to J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros., pleading for a role in the film.

However, Evanna was not the only Potter star to chime in on the news. Leading man Daniel Radcliffe had a few intriguing words to say about the announcement.

At an event promoting his new film, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Radcliffe talked to Metro about his initial reaction:

“I first thought, ‘Thanks Jo, I’m going to have to answer tons of questions about this now,'” Radcliffe said, “I’m sure they’re going to have a great time [making it]. I’m sure most people are really excited about it.” Radcliffe admitted he knew nothing about the project, and added that he would not be involved with it.

Someone that could very well be involved with the film is David Heyman, the producer of all eight Harry Potter movies, and the one that discovered Harry Potter for a film adaptation. While speaking to Hypable.com to promote his new film Gravity, Heyman said that, as a fan he was, “really…excited,” and continued that Jo is “a great storyteller…” Heyman said that he was “sure [the film] will be something really great,” and that she (J.K. Rowling) would not be doing it otherwise.

Interestingly, he added: “She doesn’t need to do it… She’s doing it because she needs to do it because she has a story to tell.” We take this as meaning that Warner Bros. is not necessarily forcing her to do it, and that she is genuinely excited about the story she has to tell.

Heyman assured fans, saying that the film will be “very good.” As Hypable suspects, Heyman will most likely produce the film if he has any involvement with it.

We will be constantly updating you on the film and its progress over the coming months so be sure to stay close to Pottermore News for the latest!

J.K. Rowling says she could write a “director’s cut” of the Harry Potter books

J.K. Rowling was featured on the BBC this morning in an interview with Will Gompert. In the interview, the two discussed her new book, writing for adults, and whether or not there will be a sequel for The Casual Vacancy.

On choosing Little, Brown & Co. as her publishers, Rowling said that she made the decision after meeting with her editor, David Shelley. They apparently had a “very interesting” conversation before Rowling even presented the idea of a book for adults to him. As Rowling describes it, Shelley said things that meant he understood “exactly why I was writing it and what I was doing.”

Rowling also said that she hoped they made it clear enough that the book is not for children.

I’ve been very open about what the themes are, we’ve talked about what the story’s about. I would have thought that parents can make a very clear choice… I would have to ask why have kids got such untrammelled access to the internet that they are downloading… Well, I would be more worried about other things they could be downloading if they’re running amok on the internet on their own.

When asked about the creation of the story and the writing of the book, Rowling had this to say:

I did, really [do a lot of research for the book]. I always know way more than I need to know. I have backstory on every character that I didn’t need. And, in fact, some of it was in the novel and I took it out. I just need to know much more than the reader does.


As for a Casual Vacancy sequel…

No, she said with enormous relief, this is definitely a stand-alone book. I loved writing it but it’s a discrete story, it’s done. I’m not keen to leap into another series.

The most interesting revelation, at least for Potter fans, came when Rowling was asked if she ever felt that she published a book too soon. Her answer to that question was yes, and that she felt a couple of the Potter books, needed another year to write. She even went as far to say that she feels tempted to write a “director’s cut” of the books. (!!!!) She didn’t elaborate on the comment much, but said that the two books that needed treatment were one at the end and one at the beginning.

The question is; If “director’s cut” editions of the books were released, would you read them?

We would, there’s no question about it, and we know a lot of fans would too, depending on what information would be released. It could also depend on the books that would be re-released.

You can read more of the interview here and watch a video of it. If you would like to read Gompert’s blog entry for the interview (in which he describes Jo’s laugh as “bawdy and infectious”), click here.

New comments add to the speculation over a new J.K. Rowling documentary

 James Runcie, the presumed director of the new J.K. Rowling film, produced the 2007 documentary that chronicled Rowling’s life during the writing and publication of Deathly Hallows. The title card of that film is shown above.

Over the past few weeks a rumor has been making its way across the web that a new film centered around J.K. Rowling would be released. New comments made by documentary filmmaker James Runcie and his representatives are adding to the speculation and making it all the more mysterious.

Recently, when J.K. Rowling’s two upcoming promotional events for The Casual Vacancy were announced, Runcie tweeted this:

The last part of the tweet – “film news soon” – sparked the rumor. To us it suggested that a documentary centered around J.K. Rowling and her new book would be released. This was the case with James Runcie’s 2007 documentary “J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life”, which chronicled Rowling’s life during the writing and publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

We sought for truth in the rumor, so we contacted Runcie over Twitter and emailed his representatives.

When asked about a J.K. Rowling documentary, Runcie replied to us over Twitter with this comment:

As you can see, Runcie will not comment on the speculation. His comment is very mysterious, as if he is witholding information. To us it seems as though he is hinting that there is something in the works. However, in our opinion his comment makes sense when put together with his representative’s.

We reached out to his rep asking for some clarity in the statement to which they replied:

James has signed a confidentiality agreement and news will be announced before publication.

When you put the two together you know one thing for certain – something else involving him and Rowling, other than the appearance at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, is happening. Why would he have to sign a confidentiality agreement if not? We can speculate that this ‘something’ could very well be a film because of his original comment.

You can see that this is becoming a bigger mystery than it was because of these new comments. Both merely feed to the speculation, and no one is commenting on matter. Until the ‘news’ is announced, we will be speculating on the subject.

Please know that all of our predictions are only a fan’s speculation. Nothing should be taken as official until the publishers make an official announcement. We will be sure to have that announcement for you once it comes, so stick with us for all the latest on this developing story.

J.K. Rowling’s ‘Casual Vacancy’ cover art revealed with audio reader and updated synopsis

Today Little, Brown released more details about The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. These new details include the book cover (full image with our dissection below), a confirmed page count, the reader of the audiobook, and a change in (formerly) Barry Fairweather’s name.

THE COVER

The cover of J.K. Rowling’s new book, The Casual Vacancy.

The book cover was the most important release today.

In my opinion, it looks vintage. It reminds me of an old Hollywood movie from the 1940s, especially with the font. It is very vibrant with the bright colors, which will help it stick out among the rest in bookstores.

Mario J. Pulice designed the cover, with illustration and hand lettering by Joel Hollan.

The black ‘X’ and the box around it is a voting ballot. The picture goes with the plot, as the whole of it is centralized around the Parish Council election following the death of Barry Fairbrother. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

Click here for a high-res version of the cover.. Courtesy of Leaky News.

THE UPDATED COVER COPY AND A CHANGE IN NAME

Along with the book cover, Little, Brown also released more details about the book.

This includes an updated cover copy:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity, and unexpected revelations?

A big novel about a small town, The Casual Vacancy is J. K. Rowling’s first novel for adults. It is the work of a storyteller like no other.

The most noticeable change, is, in fact, the change of the name Barry Fairweather. Originally, the synopsis read with the name Barry Fairweather. In this new release, Little, Brown explained that this was the publisher’s error. As you can see, the name is now Fairbrother.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

In addition to the updated cover copy (I’m guessing this is the back cover synopsis?) and book cover, Little, Brown also included the page count, audiobook reader and prices.

The book is now a confirmed 512 pages, up 32 since the former update. The audiobook will be read by Tom Hollander, an accomplished star of theater and film.

The novel will be published worldwide in the English language in hardcover ($35.00), large print hardcover ($39.00), e-book ($19.99), unabridged audio download ($29.98), and on CD ($44.98).

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling will be released on Thursday, September 27 of this year.

What do you think about the cover? Love it? Hate it? What do you think about the name change? Share all your thoughts in the comments below!

The Pottermore Alliance

Many of you may recall that we have been communicating with ElmBlade43 and SamGibbins07 on Twitter. We have become great friends over the past few months, sharing together some major events in Harry Potter history together including the announcement of J.K. Rowling’s new book and the launch of Pottermore. We have literally shared every scrap of news together. Now, we are taking the power of our friendship to the next level; an alliance.

We have been teasing it for a couple of weeks now at the mysterious Twitter feed, @lockedusername. We have now “unlocked” the username with the promised announcement of a new exciting project: The Pottermore Alliance. The Pottermore Alliance is the collaboration of fans to create exciting new projects and functionalities for other fans to communicate and use. For the record, let me just say now that I wouldn’t want to be working on this with any other people than Sam and ElmBlade43.

Out of the collaboration we plan to bring out ways of communications so fans can connect with each other, discuss the books, films and Pottermore, and other exciting projects. Today we have for you one introductory product for fans: a Pottermore forum. We have two other projects that we are working on, but they aren’t ready just yet for release. They will be here very soon, so you won’t wait very long. We can promise one of them by the end of the month.

The Pottermore Forum is something we have been promising for awhile. With the help of our friend Sam, we are able to bring it to you with some really cool features. Together, me, Sam, and ElmBlade43, have created an amazing method of communication – The Pottermore Alliance Forum – where fans will be able to discuss everything from The Casual Vacancy to Pottermore. You have the option to be sorted into one of the four houses and enter a house-only common room, just like on Pottermore.

With the Pottermore Alliance, being a reader of our blogs and a participant of our forum will become much more exciting and easier. We have now brought on Sam (SamGibbins07 on Twitter) as a contributing reporter and writer. He will be writing under the name SpellWizard24. ElmBlade43 will also be contributing to my site, as will I on her site, as a contributing writer and reporter.

The Pottermore Alliance Twitter, @ThePMAlliance, will be the place for fans to read news stories and other articles, from all of our sites. Instead of having to visit multiple sites, you will be able to follow one feed for all the stories. If we haven’t reported on a story yet, you can refer to this feed to see if another one did.

Although this is an Alliance and a collaboration of a few fan sites, we must stress that our individual sites will stay separate. While we are doing the Pottermore Tutorials on YouTube and the Pottermore Guide, ElmGoesToHogwarts (ElmBlade43’s site) will still be doing the Pottermore 101’s as tutorials. We have no plan to combine sites.

Unfortunately, with all the time and work spent on the Pottermore Alliance, we will not be able to produce the collection of Head Canons book as promised. We will however be releasing the updated Pottermore Guide. Hopefully by the end of the year or early 2013, we will have the Head Canon book available.

The forum is only the starting project of our alliance; the partnership will produce more great things over the years. The launch of Pottermore and partnering projects between Sony and Pottermore like Book of Spells is only the start of this new stage in Harry Potter history; we still have a long way to go on the journey. We are so very happy we get to enjoy the exciting journey together with friends and readers like you.

You can visit the official site of the Pottermore Alliance and our Pottermore Alliance page for all further information.

Join the event on Facebook “Opening of Pottermore”

We have started an event on Facebook for the opening of Pottermore. JOIN HERE

For months we have waited for this moment; the opening of Pottermore. And now, it is near the time of that most glorious event. Pottermore will be opening in early April 2012. This event will be up for the whole month of April, so you will be able to see when someone receives their Welcome email, chooses their username and takes their first look at the online home of Harry Potter.

Join in on the discussion with Potter fans from all over the world right here for a night you won’t forget as we await the launch of Pottermore. Share your thoughts about Pottermore and the Harry Potter fandom. Discuss your favorite Harry Potter book with other members of the fandom. You can ask each other questions; What are you most excited for on Pottermore? Will you be reading J.K. Rowling’s new book? What is your Harry Potter story? The world is entirely your own, so create it.

You can experience the stories like never before on Pottermore. Begin your Pottermore journey with the rest of the fandom right here. Just click “Join”!

Please note: The time of the event is pending to change in accordance with Pottermore’s currently unreleased schedule…