This morning, Warner Bros. announced the name of the previously untitled sequel to the 2016 hit film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which starred Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, author of said book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Set to open on November 16, 2018, one year from today, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will deal with a dark time in wizarding history, only occasionally referenced in the original Harry Potter novels.
Background! Fans of the HP Books will recall that we learned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, there was a time in young Albus Dumbledore’s life where, disillusioned with his humdrum life babysitting his magically challenged sister, he found solace in the friendship of Gellert Grindelwald. The two young men were unquestionably the greatest wizards of their age and found a bond in their tremendous power.
Thought Dumbledore was admittedly infatuated by Grindelwald and was tempted by the plan to find and master the 3 Deathly Hallows; overthrow the existing magical ruling class, dissolve the International Statute of Secrecy (which prevents wizards from living out in the open in front of Muggles (non-magical folks); and usher in a new age of society where in Wizards would rule above all else, as the most deserving and wise of creatures and man. If you were a surly teen with unmatched magical power, you can see how this seemed like a good idea.
When Albus finally realized that Gellert’s plan was not so altruistic, the two had a falling out, resulting in a three way duel which led to the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana (who could not control her sporadic outbursts of magical power). Plagued by the death of sister and the thought that he may have been the one to cast the deadly spell, Dumbledore gave up his Magic is Might obsession and turned towards a life dedicated to defending and respecting all creatures, magical or otherwise. The kindly and benevolent teacher and headmaster we would grow to know him in the HP books.
As an adult, Dumbledore (reluctantly) battled and defeated Grindelwald. As a result of this win, Dumbledore became the master of the Elder Wand (one of the Deathly Halllows which Gellert had found; also known as the Death Stick) and ensured his former friend would spend the rest of his life locked away in Grindelwald’s own fortress, Nurmengard. Gellert remained in Nurmengard until his death in 1998 when Voldemort, in pursuit of the Deathly Hallows, killed him in his cell.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald …What We Know:
Following Grindelwald’s capture by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) in the mid-1920’s, he escapes and begins his revolutionary rise to power. We know he and Dumbledore finally duel in 1945 and Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald. The description from Warner Bros has it that this sequel will deal with Grindelwald’s escape and his attempt to gather others to his cause; so lets assume it cover the early part of the rise of Gellert Grindelwald.
Cast. Most of the cast from the first film is returning including Ezra Miller (Justice League) as Credence. Johnny Depp will play Gellert Grindelwald and Jude Law will portray Albus Dumbledore. Zoë Kravitz joins the cast as Leta Lestrange (that surname!), fiance to Newt’s older brother, Theseus Scamander (played by Callum Turner). The cast photo is posted below.