Katherine Waterston has landed the role of Porpentina, or Tina for short, in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film, a spinoff of the massively popular Harry Potter franchise, already has its male lead in Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander. Porpentina is a witch working in America who meets with Scamander as he catalogs magical creatures. David Yates, the director of the last four Harry Potter films, is set to return.
Fantastic Beasts will follow Scamander as he studies magical animals for his titular book. The screenplay is written by the one and only J.K. Rowling and is based on a short book she wrote that takes place before Harry Potter’s first year at Hogwarts. The title comes from one of the textbooks required for Hogwarts students. Like Redmayne, who most recently appeared in Jupiter Ascending, Waterston could be looking for her blockbuster breakthrough after appearing in Inherent Vice last year. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. once again find themselves hoping to squeeze extra franchise films out of a prequel by turning a short book into a full trilogy. The studio tried this plan with The Hobbit to mixed reactions from critics and audiences. On the other hand, the Harry Potter franchise is firmly entrenched in the minds of many young adults who grew up with the series. Just giving audiences the opportunity to return to the world of Harry Potter could be enough to get people in seats for three more films.