Warner Bros.

Is This The Lead Of 'Harry Potter' Prequel 'Fantastic Beasts'?

Science v. magic.

He just snagged an Oscar for playing scientist Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything," and now actor Eddie Redmayne is reportedly considering a role that veers decidedly toward the magical end of the spectrum.

According to Variety, Redmayne is the frontrunner for the lead role of Newt Scamander in "Harry Potter" spin-off "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." The planned trilogy is a prequel to the "Potter" series, depicting the life of magical zoologist Scamander in New York in the early 1900s. ("Potter" fans already know Newt Scamander's name because he eventually wrote the textbook the movie takes its name from that Harry and his classmate study at Hogwarts.)

Though a deal has not yet been met and Variety's sources say that an official offer hasn't been extended, director David Yates is pulling for Redmayne. The four other main roles -- two American girls and two American boys -- have yet to be cast as well.

The first movie in the trilogy is set to be released Nov. 18, 2016, and "Potter" author J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut with the films. Rowling taunted fans with the first line of the film's synopsis in October, which she presented as an anagram and let her Twitter followers unravel.

"Newt only meant to stay in New York for a few hours," her synopsis begins.

What do you think? Would you like to see Redmayne take up a wand and have magical adventures in historic New York City?