‘Harry Potter’ World Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Has New, Mesmerizing Female Lead

Katherine Waterston For Porpentina

The Harry Potter world has a new movie coming up in 2016, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has found its female lead: Katherine Waterston.

Katherine will play Tina (short for Porpentina) in the Harry Potter spinoff, opposite the Oscar winner and newly appointed OBE, Eddie Redmayne.

Based on the Hogwarts school textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, the film isn’t a Harry Potter sequel — it’s a spinoff that follows the adventures of the book’s scientist author, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne).

Waterston’s Porpentina is a British witch who “works her magic in the U.S.,” breaking with the Harry Potter tradition of British Isles settings. Scamander is British “magic zoologist,” which in the Harry Potter world refers to a scientist who studies magical creatures. Scamander travels the world searching for creatures to document, and meets Porpentina while he is on a stopover in New York City.

Katherine Waterston, who is Sam Waterston’s daughter, comes well-prepared to play the pivotal part of Porpentina. Waterston is already known for her “risky but alluring” role in Inherent Vice, for which she was described as an actor who “mesmerizes.” Good skill to have for an up and coming witch!

Katherine has also appeared in Boardwalk Empire and Vice, and is cast to play Steve Jobs’ girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, in the upcoming biopic about Jobs. Greg Silverman is president of creative development and worldwide production for Warner Bros, and he is “thrilled” to have Waterston in the cast.

“Katherine Waterston is a rising star, who was a revelation in our film Inherent Vice, earning the praise of both critics and audiences. We are thrilled to have her back in the Warner Bros. family, especially in one of our most anticipated titles for 2016, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

The film has two more main characters to cast. Tina has a younger sister, Queenie, and of course, Scamander has to have a rival, Jacob. The studio is said to be looking for more established actors to fill the roles, instead of introducing new faces as they did with the original Harry Potter series.

Fantastic Beasts is breaking new ground for one established face, though. J.K. Rowling is making her debut as a screenwriter!

Rowling makes it clear, however, that this is not part of the Harry Potter series.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the ‘Harry Potter’ series but an extension of the wizarding world.”

Harry Potter fans aren’t concerned about exactly how Fantastic Beasts fits in. They’re just happy to have a new J.K Rowling movie that has something to do with their beloved Harry and Hogwarts!

[Image via Steve Granitz / Variety]