We reported earlier this month that the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in negotiations with Eddie Redmayne for the lead role of Newt Scamander. Today we have a new report that casting is heating up for the two female lead roles, with Warner Bros. settling on their short lists for each part. Kate Upton (The Other Woman), Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) and Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby) are the studio's top choice for the role of Queenie. Saoirse Ronan (Lost River), Dakota Fanning (Every Secret Thing), Lili Simmons (Banshee) and Alison Sudol (Dig) are up for the role of Queenie's younger sister, Tina. No further character details have been released at this time.
Another report reveals that Warner Bros. is also currently casting the role of Jacob, the rival to the lead character Newt Scamander. Front runners for that role include Steve Zissis (Her), Zack Pearlman (The Virginity Hit) and Dan Fogler (Barely Lethal). It isn't known if any of these actresses or actors will be available to take on the role, but several of them already have test deals in place, with Eddie Redmayne set to read alongside them over the next week. There may be other actresses in the mix for these two roles, but no specific names were mentioned at this time. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will reportedly launch a trilogy of spinoffs, but it isn't known if these roles will be featured in all three films, although that is likely the case.
David Yates is directing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them from a screenplay by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The story is set in New York City, roughly 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter novels, following the exploits of Newt Scamader, a "magiczoologist," as he sets out to write a book about all of the magical creatures he has encountered. The movie's title comes from the textbook of the same name used by Harry Potter and his classmates at Hogwarts. There is no word on when production might begin at this time.