Fantastic Beasts 2: release date, trailer news, cast, the Lestrange connection, and everything you need to know

J.K. Rowling's second Harry Potter spinoff film is coming in 2018

When the final Harry Potter film was released, it seemed we’d reached the end of the Potter universe – but in 2016 J.K. Rowling gifted Potter fans with something new to get excited about: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film’s set 70 years before the Harry Potter books, exploring the adventures of ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander and his suitcase full of magical creatures. Fantastic Beasts became the first film in the Harry Potter franchise to win an Oscar and NME said it was “more enchanting to your inner kid than the Potter films ever were.” With the series set for up to five films, here’s the lowdown on the second entry in the franchise. Be warned: this contains minor spoilers for the first film.

First image revealed

As anticipation continues to grow, they’ve now Tweeted the first official photo from the film – showing an image of Newt Scamander’s (Eddie Redmayne) travel permit application. It’s currently ‘pending’ from the Ministry Of Magic. Could he be denied?

When is Fantastic Beasts 2 released?

According to IMDb, the film will be out on 16 November 2018 in the USA, with filming for the sequel starting this summer.

Have we seen a trailer?

Not yet – but we’ll keep this page updated with any news.

Which new characters are in the sequel?

1. Gellert Grindelwald

Who is Grindelwald?
Grindelwald was introduced to Potter fans in the original series: it was revealed he was a dark and powerful wizard who had once been a friend of Dumbledore’s. The pair once sought to find the Deathly Hallows together.

Grindelwald rose to power and many suffered at his hand before he was defeated by Dumbledore and imprisoned.

Who’s playing him?

Johnny Depp is set to play Grindelwald, after his surprise appearance at the end of the first film.

2. Young Albus Dumbledore

Who is Dumbledore?
Everyone’s favourite Hogwarts headmaster, Albus Dumbledore is set to make a comeback in the Fantastic Beasts sequel.

While Dumbledore is not a new character to the Harry Potter franchise, he is new to the Fantastic Beasts universe – and we’ve never got to see the life of the young Dumbledore on screen.

Who’s playing him?
Jude Law has been cast as the young Albus Dumbledore for Fantastic Beasts 2.

3. Leta Lestrange

Who is Leta Lestrange?
Leta Lestrange was Newt’s old ‘friend’ from Hogwarts. In the first film it is revealed that they had a “close friendship” and it’s heavily implied that Newt was in love with her. She hasn’t spoken to Newt in years but is set to make an appearance in the new film. She shares the surname of Bellatrix Lestrange, but she isn’t a blood relative.

Who’s playing her?
Zoe Kravitz was seen as Leta Lestrange very briefly in the first film – we got to see Newt’s picture of her. She is rumoured to have a bigger part to play in the upcoming sequel.

4. Young Newt, Gellert, Albus and Leta

On 6 June 2017, Pottermore announced an open casting call for young people aged between 13-18 to play some major roles in the new film.

They are looking for teenagers to play the younger versions of the main characters, Newt, Gellert, Albus and Leta.

Teenagers wishing to apply don’t need previous acting experience; they just need to send a headshot accompanied by contact details to the casting company via email. Details of how to apply can be found here.

5. Sebastian

We don’t know who this character will be, but he is listed on the list of characters to audition for in the open casting call.

All we know is that he’s a teenager.

What do we know about the plot?

The first film was set 70 years before the Harry Potter series and presumably we’ll follow the same timeline in the sequel.

Very few details have been revealed about the script or the plot, but the open casting call has given us a big insight into what could happen.

With the open casting call looking for teenagers to play younger versions of Newt, Leta and a new character called Sebastian, we can expect to find out more about the ‘close friendship’ between Newt and Leta.

There will also be teenage versions of Grindelwald and Dumbledore, which means we can expect to explore their relationship in a lot more detail: possibly how they met, and what led to their falling out.

In 2010 J.K. Rowling said Dumbledore was once infatuated with Grindelwald, but his feelings were not reciprocated: “[Grindelwald] was a user and a narcissist and I think someone like that would use it, would use the infatuation. I don’t think that he would reciprocate in that way, although he would be as dazzled by Dumbledore as Dumbledore was by him.”