Harry Potter prequel starring Eddie Redmayne will be shot in Liverpool
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the prequel to JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels, starring Eddie Redmayne will be filmed in Liverpool in late October.
Redmayne, who won the Oscar for best actor this year in The Theory of Everything, will star as Newt Scamander, a British 'magizoologist' who specializes in magical animals and documents the beasts he encounters.
The film follows Newt Scamander (Redmayne) on a journey to New York to find and document magical creatures. He publishes his findings in a book, which is required reading at Hogwarts by the time Harry Potter gets there 70 years later.
It's being directed by David Yates, who took the helm of the last four Harry Potter films and produced by David Heyman, who produced all eight Harry Potter films. JK Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram, will be executive producers as well.
Warner Bros started shooting at Leavesden studios, Hertfordshire, in August, but Liverpool will be the only non-studio location in the movie. The film will use city centre buildings in Liverpool to replicate 1920s New York.
Other main cast members include Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol as witch sisters Tina and Queenie, Ezra Miller as a wizard named Credence and Dan Fogler as a Muggle named Jacob, plus Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and Sons of Anarchy star Ron Perlman.
Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, and Gemma Chan joined the cast a few days ago.
As many as 530 cast and crew will make Liverpool their temporary home and have started prepping sites including St George's Hall and Three Graces.
Councillor Wendy Simon, Liverpool's assistant mayor, told the Liverpool Echo that many locations were being considered by the production team.
She said: "We are absolutely delighted that this huge production is taking place in Liverpool.
“We are no stranger to big movies being filmed on the city streets, but without a doubt, JK Rowling’s new adventure will cause a real buzz and re-emphasises Liverpool’s reputation as one of the most filmed cities outside of London."
Other blockbusters that have been filmed in Liverpool include, Fast and Furious 6, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Captain American: The First Avenger.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled for release worldwide in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.
Belfast Telegraph Digital