It has been confirmed that Oscar-winning The Theory of Everything actor Eddie Redmayne will star in the upcoming Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Redmayne will play magizoologist Newt Scamander in the new trilogy, which will take place before the events in the Harry Potter series.

Warner Bros. President of Creative Development, Grey Silverman, said of the casting: "Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today's most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors.

"We are thrilled to welcome him into JK Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is making her screenwriting debut on the trilogy.

She said: "Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series but an extension of the wizarding world."

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be directed by David Yates and is scheduled to be released in November 2016.