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 is 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: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Be warned: this contains minor spoilers for the first film.
- A new featurette goes behind the scenes as the cast and crew of the new movie go back to Hogwarts to shoot scenes at the now-iconic location. Scroll down or click here to watch it.
When is Fantastic Beasts 2 released?
The film will be out on November 16, 2018.
Have we seen a trailer?
Indeed we have – the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was released on March 13, and it features Hogwarts – check it out below.
Much of the focus lies not on Newt, but with Dumbledore and Grindelwald – both of whom appear to be juking it out for wizarding supremacy. There’s also a brief hint at the Deathly Hallow symbols at 1:39, flying chariots and mad creatures knocking around. Same old, then.
On September 1 we also got a special featurette that goes behind the scenes as the cast and crew shoot the movie’s much anticipated Hogwarts scenes.
“I loved going back to Hogwarts, of course I did,” says J.K. Rowling in the clip. “It looks very familiar to anyone who saw the Potter movies but obviously the teaching staff are different.
“Those names, the stories, the histories that sit in the back of our mind from the Potter stories begin to weave their way into Beasts,” adds Eddie Redmayne. ”
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
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.
— The Leaky Cauldron (@leaky) March 16, 2017
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.
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.”
Jude Law said in July that every character has “got dark sides and bright sides”, making a reference to Dumbledore.
“There are secrets and aspects to his personality that are hinted at in the Harry Potter stories, and that are hinted at in this story,” he said at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.
He added: “What JK Rowling always does with all of the characters is… they’re multi-faceted.”
Ezra Miller also told the crowd that there are more links between the upcoming movie and Harry Potter than he ever expected.
“When we made the first one – I thought I’d reached a life pinnacle,” he said. “I was like – that’s it. I’ve peaked.
“And then this movie came along, and I feel like the number of connections between this and Harry Potter – it multiplies.”
As for Newt himself, Eddie Redmayne has teased that things will get to a “darker place”.
“You really get inside the psychology of the characters more, and it’s a darker place”, he explained to Collider.
“You can sort of get a sense of what’s coming historically in the Muggle world at the time, and certainly the wizarding world. There are elements that are reflecting that and with the rise of Grindelwald and this sort of greater evil. The stakes are higher. And I would say it’s interesting when you’ve done a film and the world’s responded to it.”