Eddie Redmayne cast in FANTASTIC BEASTS movie

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fantastic beasts and where to find them newt scamander jk rowlingAfter weeks of speculation, Warner Bros. announced that Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne would star as Newt Scamander in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

The movie’s title is a reference to the book Scamander pens within the canon of Harry Potter. A real life version of the book, penned by Rowling, was released as a companion novel to the series in 2001.

While there is no doubting Redmayne’s acting chops, much of the fandom voiced displeasure after his casting was announced, as many had hoped for a person of color lead. More grumbling from the fandom came when the rest of the audition list for related roles were released in a rumour report. All those linked to the report – Saoirse Ronan and Dakota Fanning, among others – were white.

For a fandom and franchise that is already made up majorly of white people, it’s disappointing to see that they’re leaning towards as white of a franchise as the original series, especially given how diverse England is and has been through history. With only a handful of characters of color in the original series, and only one closeted queer character, it would have been nice to see a wider, diverse, and more accurate representation of the world (wizarding or otherwise) in the new film franchise.

Eddie Redmayne recently won an Oscar for his role in “The Theory of Everything” and can also be seen in the films “Les Miserables” and “Jupiter Ascending.”

The Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie adaptation is scheduled to release in theaters on November 18 of next year. This will be the first in “at least” a trilogy of films, all penned by J.K. Rowling herself. They will be directed by David Yates and produced by David Heyman.

Who would you have cast as Newt Scamander? Sound off in the comments below!

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

3 Comments

  1. “Much of the fandom” doesn’t like his casting, you say? I strongly disagree. There’s been a lot of celebrating going on on Twitter from all around the world, in at least fifteen different languages that you can see for yourself. PoC’s around the world are pretty content. The only ones who aren’t happy with his casting are those who think, that, for some reason, the protagonist having dark skin will somehow make it a better movie — meaning only white people on tumblr find fault in it.

    Eddie Redmayne can act and that’s all that matters. I get not being pleased, but stop trying to speak for the fandom when you say “we” aren’t happy with Eddie’s casting. A few tumblr posts whining about it does not constitute majority of the fandom, and you would do well not to over-represent yourself.

    • Nicole Brinkley

      I say “much of” in that the Harry Potter fandom is so big, much of the fandom that I interact with was displeased that a person of color wasn’t cast. I cannot go and tally every single fan’s reaction to the casting or I would no longer be able to do anything else; I went by what I saw on my social media, with my fandom friends, with the sites I follow. It was more than “a few Tumblr post whining about it.”

      Nobody’s denying that Eddie won’t do an amazing job – I think he’ll be fabulous! I adore him as an actor. But I also think it’s frustrating that we’re about to get a Very White Wizarding World, and a lot of people have noted that.

      “The only ones who aren’t happy with his casting are those who think, that, for some reason, the protagonist having dark skin will somehow make it a better movie — meaning only white people on tumblr find fault in it.” It’s not that the protagonist having dark skin would have made it a better movie. It’s that the Wizarding World should be as diverse as the real one.

      And again, more than “white people on Tumblr” have found fault with it. (Take a look at Book Riot’s amazing fancasting, or some of the critiques about the whiteness of the Wizarding World being shared by those on Twitter and in academic settings, like where some of my friends have been discussing it.) It’s important to note why I said much of the fandom was unhappy. The fandom wants some diversity. That’s good! That doesn’t mean Eddie will do a bad job! It means they’re sad that the Wizarding World continues to be a very white place.

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