‘Harry Potter’ spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ finds female lead in Katherine Waterston

Katherine Waterston will star in the "Harry Potter" spinoff "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

Katherine Waterston will star in the “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Katherine Waterston will work her magic in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

The “Inherent Vice” actress has landed one of the lead female roles in Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” spinoff, the studio announced Monday.

Waterston is to portray Tina (short for Porpentina), a witch operating in the U.S. — heretofore a little-explored corner of the wizarding world imagined by author J.K. Rowling. Waterston will star opposite Eddie Redmayne as the magizoologist Newt Scamander, who stops in New York City during his travels to find and document magical creatures.

Intended as a trilogy of films based on Rowling’s slim fictional textbook of the same name, “Fantastic Beasts” will mark the author’s screenwriting debut. The story will begin 70 years before the events of the first “Harry Potter” novel.


David Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” movies, is returning to helm the first “Fantastic Beasts” installment, which is slated for release Nov. 18, 2016.

Waterston, whose previous credits include The “Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,” “Michael Clayton” and HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” could be poised for a mainstream breakout between “Fantastic Beasts” and Danny Boyle’s upcoming biopic “Steve Jobs.”

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