Since the news broke out that JK Rowling is planning to write a spin off series involving the likes of the great Newt Scamander, people have been speculating who could play the new famed face of the Wizarding World.
Hypable had some ideas, but all of them were a little older than I imagining, minus Luke Newberry from the BBC’s zombie drama In the Flesh. Although one could not help but wish that the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Matt Smith would be in this new Harry-Potter-world film, I find them to be both too popular and too old for the proposed role of our leading man. According to what we know Scamander will be in his 20’s, a recent Hogwarts grad, when we meet him in NYC.
Moreover, what I think worked beautifully with the Harry Potter movies is that the main three were all unknowns when playing their famed roles. Given they were child actors, I still think that this would work to the new film’s benefit. A lot of the actors Hypable mentioned are pretty big names and already have fandom characters attached to their faces. Hiddleston is Loki, Cumberbatch is Sherlock and Khan, Smith is The Doctor…if they played Scamander things would just get way too crazy as fandoms clash and collide.
That’s why I’m doing my own list. Some of my actors are well known, but I think that they are minor enough characters in their current roles that people will be able to easily make the connection with Scamander like we all did with Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter.
1. Thomas Brodie-Sangster
You may recognize Thomas Brodie-Sangster from the likes of Game of Thrones, but many will remember him as the love-sick young drummer in Love, Actually. He’s currently set to star as Newt in The Maze Runner, but chances are the young adult adaptation will probably tank like many of the others that have been releasing throughout the year. It would also be kind of amusing if Brodie-Sangster played two Newts in his lifetime. He’s in his early 20’s right now, so he’s the perfect age for this role; we also know he has the acting chops for a role of this caliber (not just anyone can stumble their way onto the Game of Thrones set). Brodie-Sangster would be fabulous for the role of Newt Scamander.
2. Nicholas Hoult
Probably my most well-know pick, Nicholas Hoult is a very prominent up-in-coming English actor. His roles include the infamous Tony in the racy TV show Skins, Beast in the recent X-men prequels, and the not-so-cold-hearted zombie in Warm Bodies. Although Hoult’s been in some pretty large-scale roles and has somewhat of a following as far as fans go, he’s still unknown enough to easily assimilate into the role of Newt Scamander. If girlfriend Jennifer Lawrence could mold her way into the famed role of Katniss after appearing as Mystique in the same X-men prequels, I think Hoult has a great shot at playing Scamander.
3. Alfie Allen
Another Game of Thrones star, although Alfie Allen plays a more major role in the series than Brodie-Sangster I think he could easily melt into the role of Newt Scamander. Allen is quite familiar with period work, having acted in The Other Boleyn Girl, Atonement and Elizabeth when he was younger, and as a bonus he is also very familiar with fantasy (ahem, Game of Thrones). Allen is 27, but I do not think that by the time the camera starts rolling that he’ll have a problem playing someone in their early-to-mid twenties. If you’ve ever watched a Game of Thrones episode with the commentary, you’d know literally every person in the production flips out when Allen takes the screen. Clearly people believe in his acting abilities; and I believe he could make a fabulous Scamander.
4. Eddie Redmayne
Eddie Redmayne is probably my oldest pick for the role of Scamander. Most well known from his role in Les Miserables, Redmayne can definitely act (and as an extra bonus — he can sing!). Although Redmayne is no longer in his 20’s, his face has a youthful quality to it that could work to his benefit. Redmayne has been all over the board acting in theater, film, and television. In 2011 he received Critic’s Circle Theater Award for Best Shakespearean performance and he’s currently working on his role in Jupiter Ascending directed by the Wachowski siblings.
5. Jack O’Connell
Yet again another Skins actor, Jack O’Connell played James Cook in the second generation of the acclaimed series. His character was one of three that received a reprise in the 6th season. Many fans can agree that Cook is a fan favorite. As far as his film career goes he’s pretty unknown at the moment. He’s starred in a few independent films like This is England and Eden Lake, but his biggest role has yet to hit theaters. Next year O’Connell is set to star in 300: Rise of an Empire which will make him a little more well known to a global audience. That being said, O’Connell’s lack of celebrity definitely makes him a great pick for the role of Newt Scamander. He may look a little rough around the edges, but with a little makeup who knows? Maybe he’s the Scamander we could never imagine, but is somehow perfect for the role.