Eddie Redmayne joins Harry Potter world, will star as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts

Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne has signed on to join the upcoming Harry Potter movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The spin-off to JK Rowling's successful Harry Potter series of novels, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place decades before Harry Potter, Hermoine Granger, and Ron Weasley walk the hallowed hall of Hogwarts.

Eddie will star as Newt Scamander, a famed magizoologist and the author of the book. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is one of Harry's textbook which help him study tthe numerous magical creatures.

Eddie Redmaybe will take on the lead role of Newt Scamander

"Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today’s most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors," Warner Bros exec Greg Silverman said in a statement.

"We are thrilled to welcome him into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Rumours that Eddie was being courted for the role were swirling for days, until Greg confirmed the news. The film has been in development since 2013, when it was announced it would be split into three films.

"Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world," said author JK at the time.

"The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt's story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry's gets underway."

Eddie and his wife Hannah after the 2015 Oscars

The news comes after an incredibly busy 2016 for the star, who married his partner Hannah Bagshawe in a romantic winter ceremony in December.

Eddie scooped nearly every major award for his performance as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, including the BAFTA, where he made an emotionally-charged speech.

He has also already completed one project this year - The Danish Girl, which is based on the true story of first transgender woman ever to have gender reassignment surgery.