Katherine Waterston Cast in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ as Female Lead

British actress and co-star of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, Katherine Waterston, has been tapped as the female lead in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She will be casting spells alongside Eddie Redmayne throughout the streets of 1920s New York in which the movie takes place.

The Hollywood Reporter states that Katherine Waterston will play the role of Porpetina, or Tina, who is said to be a witch operating in the U.S. Whether she will embrace her British roots or portray an American character is unknown. But what we do know is that there will be a wizarding school mentioned or seen in Fantastic Beasts. A little nugget of information J.K. Rowling teased on Twitter:

Understanding how the mind of J.K. Rowling works, I can only assume that if there is a wizarding school in the states there will more than likely be a Ministry of Magic U.S. branch as well. Could Tina be a part of the Ministry of Magic or is she a foreign ambassador working in the U.S. from Britain?

Waterston will have some big shoes to fill thanks to Emma Watson who set the bar very high as Hermione Granger. I’m not familiar with Waterston’s work aside from Inherent Vice, and even then she wasn’t a huge presence in the film. But she was great in what she was given. She also appears in Michael Clayton, Robot & Frank, Being Flynn, Night Moves, and a handful of episodes of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The next chance to see Waterston on the big screen will be in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs biopic, where she plays Jobs’ love interest, Chrisann Brennan.

The Wrap also reported in May that another female role is up for grabs. This character in question will be Tina’s younger sister, Queenie. The actresses on the shortlist for that character are Saoirse Ronan (Hanna), Dakota Fanning (War of the Worlds), Lili Simmons (HBO’s Banshee), and singer-songwriter Alison Sudol (Amazon’s Transparent), but the casting announcement has yet to be made official at this time.

Set around 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows New Scamander (Redmayne) as he embarks on a mission to document magical creatures for his book. Scamander is the supposed trailblazer of “magizoology,” which even warranted J.K. Rowling to realize the book for fans curious about his life and the fantastic beasts he finds.

Directed by David Yates, from a screenplay written by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016 in 3D and IMAX.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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