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Colin Farrell signs on for Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts

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Colin Farrell is entering the magical Harry Potter universe. According to THR, the actor will play a wizard in Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spin-off of J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular book series. Farrell joins a cast that already includes Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Eztra Miller, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler.

The film is born from an idea that originally started out as simply a textbook assigned to Harry and his schoolmates in their first year at Hogwarts. However, the fictional book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, soon got a life of its own when Rowling somehow found the time to actually write it — and in the midst of the seven-book Harry Potter series no less. Writing as Scamander, the British author explores 85 species found in the wizarding world through a journey across five continents. The story is set 70 years prior to Harry’s arrival at Hogwarts.

The movie adaptation will bring Scamander’s adventures to the silver screen. Through his travels, he’ll encounter various magical species, as well as humans (wizards and muggles alike). Farrell will play one such person, a wizard named Graves who meets Scamander in New York.

With Fantastic Beasts taking place so many years prior to the events of the Harry Potter films, the cast will be very different. The film does heavily involve J.K. Rowling, though. In addition to writing the script, she’ll serve as a producer. David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram — all of whom have been part of previous Potter projects — will also produce.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to hit theaters on Nov. 18, 2016.