Will Matt Smith be Newt Scamander?

There’s been no news about the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film for several weeks, which makes the latest rumor about the series all the more tantalizing: Could Doctor Who star Matt Smith be in talks to play Newt Scamander?

The rumor started out at UK newspaper the Sun (note that the article is behind a paywall) and has been picked up by news sources all across the Internet, exciting Potter and Who fans into a near frenzy. According to the original article, the 32-year-old is the current favorite to play the lead character and has expressed interest in taking on the role. At this point, there’s nothing to indicate that this is anything but a rumor, but if Fantastic Beasts is getting a 2016 release date, filming should be starting very soon – and this very well could be a bit of genuine information. If this rumor does end up being true, it’s going to make a lot of people happy – he even topped one MuggleNet staff member’s list of possible contenders just this past October.

Ever since the new film franchise was announced, the Internet has been abuzz wondering who will play Newt – everyone from us to MTV to Mashable and beyond has placed their bets on who would best fill the role. Fan reactions range from those wanting an already big name in the fandom community (like Matt Smith or Benedict Cumberbatch) to land the role, to those hoping that an unknown is cast, to those wondering if Newt has to be white – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Thus far, WB and Heyday Films have given us very little to go on. What’s more, we can’t even draw on previous Potter casting decisions to give us clues. Sure, all of the actors playing students – most notably Harry, Ron, and Hermione – were unknowns when they were cast, but roles for professors and other adults couldn’t have gone to much more high profile British actors. What’s more, the Internet is a vastly different place than it was 15 years ago – would fans have sussed out Emma, Dan, and Rupert’s names before WB decided to announce them if we had the same resources that are available today? The only thing that’s certain is that when the actor set to play Newt finally is announced, the fandom is going to have a lot to say about it.

What about you? Does Matt Smith snagging the lead role sound like a dream come true? Or like this writer, would you rather see them cast some perfect unknown?

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.