It appears that Kate Upton won’t be starring in the Harry Potter spinoff after all. We learned last month that after Eddie Redmayne sealed the deal to star in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as magiczoologist Newt Scamander, Warner Bros. and director David Yates (who helmed the final four Potter pics) were on the search for the film’s other leads. There are two crucial female roles to be filled, sisters Queenie and Tina. Reportedly up for the part of the latter was Upton, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby), and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), but now the powers that be have made their decision, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model will not be the next Harry Potter star.
Per Warner Bros., Inherent Vice standout Waterston has landed the pivotal role of Tina in the pic and potential sequels–Fantastic Beasts is being planned as “at least” a trilogy. Short for Porpentia, Tina is a witch living in the U.S. who crosses paths with Scamander when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures. Waterston was downright excellent in Paul Thomas Anderson’s wonderful 2014 comedy, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing her talent put to good use in the Harry Potter universe.
The hunt continues for two other crucial roles, Queenie and a man named Jacob who’s a rival of Scamander’s. The studio is reportedly looking to find more established faces for Fantastic Beasts as opposed to the newcomers who were cast in Harry Potter. The previous shortlist for Queenie included Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning, Lili Simmons (Banshee), and Alison Sudol, while Steve Zissis (Togetherness), Zack Pearlman (Mulaney), and Dan Fogler (Fanboys) were reportedly among the actors testing for Jacob. It’s unclear if those shortlists remain accurate.
J.K. Rowling penned the script for Fantastic Beasts herself, and production is aiming to get underway later this year in anticipation of the movie’s November 18, 2016 release date. Is anyone else getting unreasonably excited for a return to the onscreen Potter universe?