The cast list for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hints that a major theory linking Credence to the Lestrange family may well be correct. Credence Barebone was introduced in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as an Obscurial, a wizard who had suppressed his magical powers. His magic had become a dark, parasitical force within him, and was bursting out to wreak havoc in New York. By the time of The Crimes of Grindelwald, the youth has now headed to Paris, settling in with a circus.
Given Credence was adopted, Harry Potter fans have naturally focused in on the question of just who his birth parents could be. One popular theory is that he's actually a member of the Lestrange family. Leta Lestrange is a key character in the sequel, while the Fantastic Beasts 2 trailers have suggested so too will be her lineage; a Lestrange family tree has been seen multiple times with some strange omissions. At the top of the family tree sat Corvus Lestrange, father of Leta, and below that is the name "Credence Barebone". The implication appears to be that Credence is Leta's half-brother.
The theory is now supported by the official cast list for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. This casting breakdown including a number of roles that were previously kept secret, including Professor McGonagall. It's been officially revealed that Keith Chanter is playing the part of Corvus Lestrange, Sr., the patriarch of the Lestrange family. Corvus is a particularly nasty piece of work; Pottermore has already confirmed that he has at least one illegitimate child, a result of his kidnapping and raping a wizarding woman (interestingly enough, that child - Yusuf Kama - has taken an Unbreakable Vow to find Credence, for as yet undisclosed reasons).
But the casting announcement contains a very interesting detail. Chanter is playing Lestrange Senior - a suffix applied when a parent shares the same name as one of their children. It's logical to say that there is also a Corvus Lestrange Junior, a name that significantly does not appear on the Lestrange family tree. Someone's name was clearly missing from it. What's more, the cast list doesn't contain a reference to anyone playing a character with that name. The logical conclusion is that Corvus Lestrange Junior is the real identity of an already-known character, based on the evidence above, Credence himself.
Assuming this theory is correct, of course, it raises one troubling question about Credence; why was he sent to the United States? Corvus evidently cared for the boy (in his own twisted way), enough to give him his own name. Perhaps the answer lies in the story of Yusuf Kama. It's possible that Credence's mother was another of Corvus's victims, and that she sent him out of the country in an attempt to save him from his father. All will be revealed when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald releases later this month.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018