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Fantastic Beasts 2: Every Update You Need To Know

J.K. Rowling continues to explore the history of the wizard world in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. A sequel to 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this film will see Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander forced to pick a side in the battle against Johnny Depp's titular Grindelwald. Other stars from the first Fantastic Beasts will also return, including Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, and Katherine Waterston. In addition, this movie will introduce Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore.

  • Release Date: November 16, 2018
  • Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz
  • Director: David Yates
  • Writer: J. K. Rowling

The Cast Of Fantastic Beasts Are Back For The Crimes of Grindelwald

2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduced viewers to Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander, who's set to return in this year's sequel. He'll be joined by the supporting cast from the first film, including Dan Fogler's popular Jacob (his memories apparently restored), Alison Sudol's Queenie, and Katherine Waterston's Tina.

Fantastic Beasts ended with the shocking and controversial revelation that Johnny Depp is playing the film series's main villain, Grindelwald, a legendary dark wizard referenced in the Harry Potter books. As divisive as this casting decision may have been, Warner Bros. has chosen to stick with it, and the sequel's title suggests Grindelwald will stand at the center of this story. The most mysterious return will be Ezra Miller's Credence, the young Obscurial who was at the center of the first film. He seems to have settled in France, and it looks as though the forces of evil still seek to abuse his power.

Also "back" is Zoe Kravitz's Leta Lestrange, an old flame of Newt's who appeared only in photo form in the first Fantastic Beasts. Furthermore, it's been reported that Fantastic Beasts 2 also features a young Minerva McGonagall, which would break Harry Potter canon if true.

Read More: Every Harry Potter Character Rumored For Fantastic Beasts 2 (So Far)

Jude Law's Dumbledore Debuts In Fantastic Beasts 2

In April 2017, Warner Bros. announced that they'd cast Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore for Fantastic Beasts 2. According to the studio, Law's Dumbledore "is still serving as the [Hogwarts] wizarding school’s Transfiguration professor," when audiences meet him in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

The Harry Potter books had teased that Dumbledore is a particularly important wizard in this period, and will be the one to finally defeat Grindelwald in 1945. Executive producer David Heyman explained that Law was cast for the role because "he brings that twinkle, mischief, authority, and power, but at the same time brings far more youthful energy to the film. You understand why he would be your favorite teacher and be someone you believe is an extraordinary wizard."

Read More: Is Jude Law the Right Actor for the Role of Dumbledore?

The Villains of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The main villain of Fantastic Beasts 2 is, as the title suggests, Gellert Grindelwald - a dark wizard first mentioned in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. Clearly tied to the rise of Nazism, Grindelwald is a ferociously powerful being who actually has possession of the Elder Wand. He also has a dark and troubled history with Albus Dumbledore, with Dumbledore's sister dying during a three-way wizarding duel involving Albus, his brother Aberforth, and Grindelwald. No doubt Grindelwald has followers, one of whom seems to be David Sakurai's mysterious character.

Read More: Fantastic Beasts' Grindelwald Has Been Part Of The Harry Potter Movies Since 2001

The Story of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up with Newt on a book tour, and it seems he's recruited as Dumbledore's agent in France. Grindelwald will escape from MACUSA, possibly even killing president Serafina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo) during his escape. He'll then return to building up a power-base, presumably continuing to focus on acquiring the power of the Obscurials. The film will be set "almost entirely" in Paris, and it's surely no coincidence that Credence is in France.

Producer David Heyman has teased that Newt may not be the focus of the Fantastic Beasts franchise going forward, although he seems to still be at the core of The Crimes of Grindelwald. However, given the excitement over seeing the young Dumbledore in action, it seems likely Newt's teacher will gradually move to center-stage over the course of the series.

Fantastic Beasts 2's Reviews Are The Worst In The Harry Potter Franchise

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald received mostly negative reviews from critics, and while the sequel isn't as poorly received as many other blockbuster movies this year were, it's still considered the worst-reviewed Harry Potter franchise movie, with a Rotten Tomatoes score that continues to hover in the mid-50s.

Read more: Why Fans Are (Already) Mad At Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts 2 is the Second In A Series of Five Films

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second in a series of five films. Originally, Fantastic Beasts was announced as a trilogy, but it's evident that the scope of the story has expanded substantially since J.K. Rowling started writing. The series will span a period of 19 years, coming to an end in 1945, when Albus Dumbledore fought his legendary last battle against Grindelwald.

The Trailers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald returned viewers to Hogwarts, introducing Law's Dumbledore (blocked by the Ministry of Magic to getting involved in stopping Grindelwald) as well as placing Newt in the center of a major wizard conflict. Although the first look pleased many fans, it also caused an odd continuity problem: it seems it is possible to Apparate on the grounds of Hogwarts, despite the Harry Potter suggesting otherwise.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Beasts 2 trailers that debuted at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 and in September 2018 shed some more light on Johnny Depp's Grindelwald as well as Jude Law's Dumbledore, but the focus of both trailers were always on Newt Scamander himself.

Read More: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Trailer Breakdown

The Posters for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The first poster for Fantastic Beats: The Crimes of Grindelwald released alongside the trailer drop, and focused in on Newt and the young Dumbledore, standing back to back against the icon of the Deathly Hallows. Additional posters for Fantastic Beasts 2 revealed more of the supporting cast as well as even put Grindelwald front-and-center, since he is, after all, the villain of the movie.

David Yates is Director of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

David Yates is no stranger to the Harry Potter universe, having served as the director on four of the Harry Potter films and 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Yates is only just halfway through his commitment to the magical world, with him confirmed to be on board for the rest of the film series as well.

J.K. Rowling is Writer of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The Fantastic Beasts movies have seen J.K. Rowling return to the Harry Potter universe (and enter the world of screenwriting), penning what's essentially a prequel series to her main novels. The introduction of a young Albus Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald turns these into essential viewing, as they're exploring the backstory of one of Rowling's most popular characters.

More News on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Key Release Dates
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018
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