Who will play Newt Scamander in J.K. Rowling’s new Harry Potter spinoff movie series based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?
We don’t know the answer to that question because the film is still at least a few years away! However, we can speculate and fantasize.
Who is Newt Scamander? Born in 1897, the character who penned Fantastic Beasts graduated from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After school he nabbed a job at the Ministry of Magic and worked in the Office for House-Elf Relocation before heading into the Beast Division. He then wrote the aforementioned book, which became a best seller in the Wizarding World. The success of his book led him to be hired as the headmaster of Hogwarts.
Here are six actors who we could definitely see helm the role. We believe the character will be in his 20s when he appears in the movie set in New York. While these actors are a little older, they are all big names who would make headlines.
Tom Hiddleston’s star turn as Loki has made him a popular name in the fandom world, but he hasn’t yet had a chance to carry a film on his own. As anyone who has seen his work will know, Hiddleston’s acting chops are more than up to the task, and Rowling’s style – impishly funny, dramatic, and heartfelt all at once – would suit his range beautifully. And while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be linked to the Harry Potter empire, the role of Newt Scamander will largely be an original one – giving Hiddleston the chance to craft the character, rather than adapt the property of an established franchise. Creatively and professionally, this seems like a role that could cement Tom Hiddleston’s rightful place as a beloved household name. – Michal Schick
One of Hollywood’s hottest British actors – who’s name has recently been floated for Star Wars: Episode VII – is a perfect choice for Newt. At age 37, Benedict Cumberbatch is ageless and is very well experienced in the field of playing a part where he deals with mysteries (see: Sherlock). He can also flawlessly switch between drama and lightheartedness. Warner Bros. currently has him for The Hobbit sequel The Desolation of Smaug, so they shouldn’t have any problem finding his phone number. – Andrew Sims
Although we’re quite used to seeing Matt Smith be fascinated by the many many fantastic beasts in the cosmos, we would still love to see the raw passion and enthusiasm brought to Fantastic Beasts that we’ve seen in every project involving Smith so far. We don’t know what’s bringing Scamander to New York, but if it’s some kind of creature that’s causing a ruckus, then I know a fantastic man who’s up for the job. Also, it’s as close as we’ll probably ever get to J.K. penning an episode of Doctor Who. – Jimmy Bean
We know he can do a period piece justice (see: Downton Abbey) and he’s looking for a career boost as seen from his latest choices including leaving the ITV/PBS series. If the story does have a romantic element, we know Stevens can seduce millions with his eyes. Plus, it is time to see him in a comedic role after a string of dramatic experiences. – Gabrielle Gold
Though only 23, Luke Newberry’s soulful turn as Kieren in the BBC zombie drama In The Flesh has made it clear that he is an actor worth noticing. Newberry is incredibly expressive, able to communicate deeply with the audience even in silence, and we think he could pull off the wide-eyed but intrepid young Newt beautifully. Luke Newberry also has an untapped connection with the Harry Potter film universe, as he was cast to play Teddy Lupin in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. His role was cut from the final film, however, leaving him perfectly suited to rejoin the world in the role of Professor Scamander. – Michal Schick
He’d be amazing in the role because we already know he can play the curious traveler (Bilbo Baggins), and the name Newt Scammander just fits him! We’d love to see Freeman explore New York with his British accent and come across both ridiculous beasts and ridiculous people. It’s hilarity and adventure just waiting to happen! – Tariq Kyle