Eddie Redmayne frontrunner for 'Harry Potter' spinoff

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Eddie Redmayne frontrunner for 'Harry Potter' spinoff
Eddie Redmayne arrives at the LA Premiere Of "The Theory Of Everything" on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
This film image released by Universal Pictures shows Eddie Redmayne as Marius, left, and Amanda Seyfried as Cosette in a scene from "Les Miserables." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, James Fisher)
In this photo provided by Tandem Communications and released on Nov 7, 2009, British actor Eddie Redmayne is seen as film-character "Jack" in a set of Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" filmed in the Astra Studios in Fot, near Budapest, Hungary. "The Pillars of the Earth" is an eight-hour adaptation of the nearly 1,000-page bestseller about the construction of an English cathedral in the 12th century. The series is being shot in Hungary and Austria and will be ready by June 2010. (AP Photo/Hand Out/Tandem Communications)
Actor Eddie Redmayne arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Culver City, Calif., on Sunday April 14, 2013. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Eddie Redmayne seen at Focus Features Los Angeles premiere of "The Theory of Everything" on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014, in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Focus Features/AP Images)
Eddie Redmayne arrives at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Grants Banquet at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Eddie Redmayne arrives at the LA Premiere Of "The Theory Of Everything" on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Eddie Redmayne seen at Focus Features Los Angeles premiere of "The Theory of Everything" on Tuesday, Oct 28, 2014, in Beverly Hills. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Focus Features/AP Images)
Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones seen at "The Theory of Everything" World Premiere at 2014 TIFF on Sunday, Sep. 7, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Invision for Focus Features/AP Images)
Actors Eddie Redmayne and Hannah Bagshawe pose for photographers on the red carpet at the EE British Academy Film Awards held at the Royal Opera House on Sunday Feb. 16, 2014, in London. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the press conference of the film Les Miserables at the 63rd edition of the Berlinale, International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)
From left, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne attend the NBC Golden Globe After Party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 in . (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Actor Eddie Redmayne attends the premiere for "Les Miserables" at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Monday Dec. 10, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne arrive on the red carpet for the World Premiere of 'Les Miserables' at a central London cinema in Leicester Square, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actor Eddie Redmayne poses for a portrait during the 36th Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Toronto, Canada. (AP Photo/Carlo Allegri)
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Warner Bros. has zeroed in on Oscar winner for the lead role for its Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is heavily involved in the project and is writing the script.

David Yates on board to direct the feature project, which is set 70 years before the events of the Potter series, and centers on a fictitious author named Newton Artemis Fido Scamander. In Potter lore, Scamander compiled a reference guide to magical beasts, and the movies will follow his adventures after he is commissioned to write the tome.

Redmayne , who would play Scamander, has no offer at this stage but is the studio's top choice. One thing holding up the process is that the script is still being worked on. Sources say Redmayne won't commit until he reads it.

Other leads in the movie are two sisters and their parents.

Redmayne is already a studio favorite after chewing up the scenery in Jupiter Ascending (even if the movie didn't do particularly well at the box office). But his fanbase grew even more after he won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

He could be courting Oscar again with The Danish Girl, the drama which he is currently shooting in which he plays transgender artist Lili Elbe.

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