Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne to star in Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts

Hannah Bagshawe (left) and Eddie Redmayne arrive at the Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2015 in New York. The Oscar-winning actor will enter the world of magic in Warner Bros' anticipated Harry Potter spin-o
Hannah Bagshawe (left) and Eddie Redmayne arrive at the Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2015 in New York. The Oscar-winning actor will enter the world of magic in Warner Bros' anticipated Harry Potter spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. -- PHOTO: AFP 

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne will enter the world of magic in Warner Bros' anticipated Harry Potter spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, the studio said.

Redmayne, 33, who won a Best Actor Oscar this year for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, will play magizoologist Newt Scamander, "who in his travels has encountered and documented a myriad of magical creatures", Warner Bros said this week.

The tale is set in New York, 70 years before the saga of boy wizard Harry Potter, and is described as neither a prequel or sequel, but rather an extension of author J.K. Rowling's popular Wizarding World.

Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros has announced three Fantastic Beasts films that will follow the adventures of Newt Scamander.

Rowling, who will make her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts, is one of the world's best-selling authors. Her seven Harry Potter novels have sold more than 450 million copies around the world, and spawned an eight-part film franchise that grossed more than US$7 billion (S$9 billion) at the worldwide box office.