Eddie Redmayne almost played Lord Voldemort

When Eddie Redmayne was cast as Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, he admitted that he'd auditioned for a villainous role in a Harry Potter film

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts

Despite the variable um, quality, of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, most people agree that they were well-cast (if you ignore the Grindelwald debacle). From Jude Law’s Dumbledore, to actors like Samantha Morton, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, and Jessica Williams in supporting roles. And Eddie Redmayne made for the perfect Newt Scamander.

With his freckles, strawberry-blonde hair and softly-spoken nervous demeanor, it’s now hard to imagine anyone else in the role of Newt. However, Redmayne almost played a very different role in the Harry Potter universe – He Who Must Not Be Named, arch-villain Lord Voldemort.

But not quite. While he was at Cambridge, Redmayne auditioned for the role of the teenaged Tom Riddle (young Voldemort) in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), which went to Christian Coulson. “I actually auditioned to play [Harry Potter villain] Tom Riddle when I was back at university,” Redmayne told Empire in 2016. “I properly failed and didn’t get a call back. Over the years I always hoped I might be cast as a member of the Weasley family, but unfortunately not.”

2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is generally regarded as the best of the three, with 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. Crimes of Grindelwald had 36% and The Secrets of Dumbledore had 46%. They also had diminishing returns at the box office, with the first making over $800 million, the second making $650 million and the third making $400 million. It seems unlikely there will be any more, despite that initially being the plan.

Instead, we might get an adaptation of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, or we might finally get the much longed-for Marauders movie.

While we wait to find out where the Wizarding World goes next, check out our guide to the best Harry Potter characters.