The Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts Could Cast Matt Smith In The Lead

Could the Harry Potter spinoff/prequel-ish film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have found its Newt Scamander? We're filing this one under rumor for now, but there's some growing buzz that Matt Smith is interested in the part and/or being sought for it.

Here's what we know right now. MTV UK cites The Sun as reporting that Matt Smith -- aka the eleventh doctor in Doctor Who -- is "interested in playing 'magizooligist' Newt Scamander" in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and that the actor "has been tipped for the role, with filming due to start this summer in London." The Sun's actual report is tucked behind a subscription page, unfortunately, but Irish Examiner is also reporting that Matt Smith is said to be a favorite to play the part.

At this point, we only have the reports to go on, but it's certainly an interesting update. And not entirely out of the realm of possibility, as Math Smith is in the right age bracket for the part, more or less. Newt Scamander would have been in his twenties during the 1920's, which is when the Fantastic Beasts story is expected to be set. The character was actually around 21 when he was commissioned to write the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them textbook, however as HP-Lexicon's trusted timeline notes, that was in 1918. Assuming the film will pick up a few years into Newt's work, he'd be a bit older by then. Matt Smith is 32 years old, which is close enough to pass for 20s. Plus, he's British, so obviously he has that going for him.

Whether or not Smith will be cast in the role remains to be seen. We've been waiting eagerly for updates on casting for this project for a while now. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is penning the screenplay for the film, which will pick up in New York in the 1920s, and is expected to tell the adventurous tales of the man who penned one of Hogwarts textbooks. In addition to being one of Harry Potter's textbooks at Hogwarts, an actual Fantastic Beasts book was released for charity, and serves as more of a reference guide to the magical creatures in J.K. Rowling's world than it is a story about the man who wrote it. So we really don't know what to expect from the Fantastic Beasts movie's story, other than hoping it will live up to the high bar Rowling set with her magical series.

We'll keep you posted if we hear any additional updates on Smith's potential involvement in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. In the meantime, you can catch Matt Smith in the upcoming Terminator: Genisys.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is expected to arrive in theaters November 18, 2016.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.