Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts Finds Its Female Lead

Katherine Waterston will play the role of Tina, or Porpentina, a witch who operates in the U.S.

By Borys Kit

Katherine Waterston, who appeared with Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice, has nabbed the coveted lead opposite Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Harry Potter spinoff from Warner Bros.

Waterston, who is British, will play the role of Tina, or Porpentina, a witch who operates in the U.S. The setting is a switch from the Potter books, which were set in London and other parts of England.

According to Warner Bros., which made the casting announcement Monday morning, Porpentina meets magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures.

David Yates, who directed of the last four Harry Potter films, will helm the project which has a screenplay by Potter author J.K. Rowling. The script is taking its cues from Potter character Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which Rowling turned into an actual book in 2001).

Potter producer David Heyman is back as producer, this time accompanied by Rowling. Steve Kloves, who wrote seven out of the eight Potter movies, and Lionel Wigram are also producing.

Waterston appeared in Boardwalk Empire and had a star turn in Vice, which was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. She will portray Chrisann Brennan, Steve Jobs’ girlfriend, in the upcoming Jobs biopic directed by Danny Boyle.

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