2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - ArrivalsAfter several weeks of speculation about the actresses in the running for two key roles in the upcoming "Harry Potter" spinoff "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," one of those parts has officially been cast.

Katherine Waterston, who turned heads last year in "Inherent Vice," has landed the female leading role opposite star Eddie Redmayne, where she'll be playing a witch name Tina (and yes, that's short for Porpentina, a.k.a. the woman Redmayne's character, Newt Scamander, ends up marrying, according to "Potter" universe lore). In the film, Tina meets Newt in New York City while the magizoologist is touring the United States on his quest to document magical creatures around the globe for his textbook, which gives the flick its name.

Waterston reportedly beat out a bevvy of other actresses for the juicy role, including Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning, Lili Simmons ("True Detective"), and Alison Sudol ("Transparent"). Earlier reports indicated that she was instead vying for the role of Tina's older sister, Queenie, which has yet to be cast. Actresses reportedly under consideration for that part include Kate Upton and Elizabeth Debicki ("The Great Gatsby").

"Katherine Waterston is a rising star, who was a revelation in our film 'Inherent Vice,' earning the praise of both critics and audiences. We are thrilled to have her back in the Warner Bros. family, especially in one of our most anticipated titles for 2016, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,'" said Warner Bros. exec Greg Silverman in a statement announcing the casting.

Perhaps Tina was the person J.K. Rowling alluded to that was educated at the American Hogwarts, rumored to be at least mentioned (if not seen) in "Beasts"? We can only speculate at this point, but we're hopeful for more answers about the mysterious magical world of the U.S.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is due in theaters on November 18, 2016.

[via: TheWrap]

Photo credit: Getty Images

categories Movies