Just before the Season 2 finale of HBO's True Detective, The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Colin Farrell is joining Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them . The Irish actor, who currently plays Ray Velcoro on the HBO anthology crime drama, has apparently signed on to the Harry Potter spinoff to portray a character named Graves. There's no indication on whether Farrell's character, who is "a wizard that Newt Scamander meets in New York," will be a hero or a villain... but that ominous name certainly doesn't bode well.
Anticipation for this newest entry into the wizarding world has been high ever since Fantastic Beasts was officially announced back in Sept. of 2013. (Of course, turning a 300-page children's novel into a trilogy of films made moviegoers everywhere grumble when Peter Jackson did it with The Hobbit; but when Warner Bros. announces its plan to turn a 42-page textbook into a trilogy of films, everyone jumps for joy.) Filming hasn't even begun yet for the film, which will be released late next year, but the cast is starting to round out.
Farrell will be starring alongside such exciting names as...
Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander)
Last year's Best Actor winner will take a breather from starring in serious biopics like The Theory Of Everything to headline the newest film in the Potterverse as the author of the titular textbook, studying magical creatures in New York City 70 years before Harry Potter was born. Between this and his Oscar bait-y role in the upcoming biopic The Danish Girl , Redmayne could join Jennifer Lawrence as the most recent young actor to star in both Academy Award-winning films and big-budget blockbusters in the same year.
Katherine Waterston (Porpentina)
The daughter of Law & Order actor Sam Waterston, this Inherent Vice actress will play the female lead in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. Her character bears the beautifully bizarre name Porpentina (or just Tina, for short), and she's "a witch who — unlike the beloved characters from Rowling’s Harry Potter books — works her magic in the U.S. She meets magizoologist Newt Scamander when he stops in New York City on his travels to find and document magical creatures."
Dan Fogler (Jacob)
Fogler (Secrets And Lies, Hannibal), who won a Tony Award in 2005 for his role in the acclaimed musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, joined the cast of the film as Jacob, "a nonmagical person," (that's "muggle" to those versed in Potterspeak), "whom Newt befriends while on his adventure in New York." Variety previously reported that both Michael Cera and Josh Gad (aka Frozen's Olaf) were up for the role before Fogler won it for himself.
Alison Sudol (Queenie)
Queenie, Tina's younger sister, will be played by Transparent actress Sudol — who's also the lead singer of the band A Fine Frenzy. Rowling teased on Twitter that "Newt only meant to stay in New York for a few hours. Circumstances ensured that he remained... for the length of a movie, anyway." Could Tina and/or Queenie prove to be the reason for Newt's delay?
Ezra Miller (Kredan)
The 22-year-old actor who made a name for himself in 2011's We Need To Talk About Kevin and 2012's The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, may soon be joining his second blockbuster franchise, if rumors are to be believed. Miller is already signed on to play The Flash in D.C.'s Cinematic Universe, and reports state that he's also in talks to join Fantastic Beasts as a wizard named Kedran. (Although Rowling insisted in a tweet that this wasn't the character's real name. More details will hopefully be forthcoming.)
A seventh major role has yet to be cast: Modesty, a "haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness" who has "an ability to see deep into people and understand them." Warner Bros. is hoping to cast this role through an open call held last month, during which they saw thousands of eight- to 12-year-old girls. This is notably how Evanna Lynch (above) won the role of Luna Lovegood back in 2006.
David Yates (Director)
British director Yates will return to the Potterverse after helming the last four films in the original Harry Potter series — more than any other director in the franchise. He'll tackle the spinoff as soon as he's done with Tarzan, a live-action reboot of the classic tale currently in post-production and due in theaters in July of next year. (It stars True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan, Suicide Squad's Margot Robbie as Jane, and Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, John Hurt, and Djimon Hounsou in supporting roles.)
J.K. Rowling (Screenwriter)
Fantastic Beasts will be the first film in the Harry Potter franchise to have a screenplay written by author J.K. Rowling herself. This also means it will be only the second film in the Harry Potter franchise to NOT have a screenplay written by Steve Kloves, who penned seven of the eight Potter films, only missing Order Of The Phoenix. Rowling is committed to personally scripting all three entries in the new trilogy, as well as helping develop the mysterious play Harry Potter And The Cursed Child , which will premiere in London next summer.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will premiere on Nov. 18, 2016. In the meantime, you can probably re-read the slim textbook approximately 200 times and have every entry memorized so that you can school your friends at Fantastic Beast Bingo.