London: The stars of the Harry Potter series were cast at an open audition, and all three went on to worldwide fame. Now, in a move echoing the manner in which Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint were discovered, Warner Brothers is holding an open casting for girls aged between eight and 12, to play Modesty in the forthcoming Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

“Modesty is a haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness,” the studio said in their casting call. “She has an ability to see deep into people and understand them.”

The audition will take place at ExCel, London, on 18 July. Whoever is selected will play alongside a starry cast, including Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Katherine Waterston (Boardwalk Empire).

The screenplay, written by JK Rowling, is based on the 2001 book, set in the same universe as her bestselling series. The story follows “magizoologist” Newt Scamander (played by Redmayne), who writes a Hogwarts textbook about the magical creatures he encounters on his travels.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said Rowling on her Facebook page.

“The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets under way.”

Open casting for notable parts in major movies is fairly rare. In 2014, an open audition in Bristol for two parts in the forthcoming Star Wars sequel attracted 37,000 hopefuls. The two cast were Pip Andersen, a 23-year-old freerunner from Taunton, and American Crystal Clarke, who is studying at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow.

Fantastic Beasts is set to be released on 18 November, 2016.

Courtesy The Guardian