Casting continues today on Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter prequel/spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which has Eddie Redmayne taking on the role of magizoologist Newt Scamander 70 years before the Boy Who Lived first drew breath. Deadline reports that Dan Fogler (Fanboys) has joined the cast in the role of Jacob, a non-magical individual Newt encounters while traveling in New York.
Multiple actors were competing for the part of Jacob, including Steve Zissis and Zack Pearlman. Fogler is best known for his roles in ABC’s Secrets & Lies, Balls of Fury and Take Me Home Tonight, but he’s never been involved with a production on the scale of Fantastic Beasts.
Fogler joins Redmayne in a cast that also includes Inherent Vice breakout Katherine Waterston as an American witch named Tina, and A Fine Frenzy singer-actress Alison Sudol (USA’s Dig) as her younger sister Queenie. Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) is reportedly still in talks for another key role.
Little is known about the specifics of Scamander’s adventure in New York, but the character goes on to become one of the world’s leading experts in magizoology (the study of fantastic beasts, of course). His textbook, which serves as the name of the film, will eventually make its way into the Hogwarts curriculum – it was mentioned in the Harry Potter series and turned into a one-off textbook as part of a charity effort by author J.K. Rowling.
David Yates is back at the helm for the pic, having previously directed the final four Harry Potter movies. He’s working from Rowling’s first screenplay and alongside the familiar Harry Potter producing team of David Heyman, Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will launch a franchise for Warner Bros., which had been missing the blockbuster grosses of its long-running Potter cash cow. The first installment will arrive November 18 next year.