'Fantastic Beasts' Rumored To Star 'Doctor Who's Matt Smith & It's Strangely Perfect
Well this casting rumor is pretty on-the-nose: Former/forever Doctor Who star Matt Smith is rumored for the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them. It's the first casting rumors we've heard around the production since it was announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director David Yates was tapped to direct. And Smith's very specifically perfect for the role in a number of obvious ways, so it just might be true.
It should be noted that this rumor is coming out of The Sun and should be taken with a massive grain of salt — perhaps even a small mountain of salt. But considering the conceit of Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them — that magizoologist Newt Scamander travels to 1920s New York and interacts with all sorts of magical creatures and characters — Smith is the exact opposite of a stretch. The role he is by far the most well-known for is the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who.
That's not only a show completely built around the exploration of mysterious and/or far away and/or magical (or, rather, magical-seeming) lands and people, but Eleven was especially focused on the whimsy of all of it. Practically the only other person they could have cast in this would be David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor, but he's likely out of the running since he was already in the Harry Potter series as Barty Crouch Jr.
According to MTV, filming on the series starts this summer, so we should be hearing more concrete casting news soon. And if this particular rumor turns out to be true, I have no doubt Smith will rock it, especially if the script, direction, and his performance remove him at least a few steps from the childlike wonder Eleven so often exhibited. This is the Wizarding World, so a healthy dose of whimsy and wonder is required, but when you've already played an iconic character whose life revolved around those traits, it's a fine line to tread.
You don't want a repeat — from the creators of Harry Potter or from Doctor Who. Though I would happily accept a blend of the two.
Then again, this line from Doctor Who is kind of prophetic: