Warner Bros. has confirmed the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and, while there may well still be a few surprises, they include a lot of names familiar to any Harry Potter fans. J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts series has essentially become a giant prequel to the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends, revealing the secret history of Albus Dumbledore and building up to his battle with the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945.
Rowling has always been a believer in tying plot and character threads together in fascinating ways. As such, it will come as no surprise that there are a number of classic characters in the films, as well as clear references to major wizard families. While there are no Weasleys on the cast list, there are Lestranges, a Carrow, and even a Chang.
From primary cast to supporting players in Fantastic Beasts 2, here's all the familiar (albeit much younger) faces you can expect to see in The Crimes of Grindelwald.
- This Page: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Flamel, & Nagini
- Page 2: The Lestranges, Death Eaters, & Other Students
Albus Dumbledore was name-dropped in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but he's clearly a major character in the sequel. Jude Law is playing the young Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts 2, already a powerful and respected wizard - but not yet Headmaster of Hogwarts. This young Dumbledore is haunted by his past with Grindelwald; as disclosed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the two were friends back when they were teenagers.
J.K. Rowling has even revealed that Dumbledore was secretly in love with the dark wizard, although it's unclear how explicit Fantastic Beasts 2 will be about this particular plot point. Dumbledore seems to be the man who really drives the film's plot, as evidenced by Fantastic Beasts 2's marketing campaign thus far. Feeling unable to intervene directly in matters involving Grindelwald, Dumbledore instead sends Newt Scamander to Paris as his agent.
Maggie Smith played Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter films, but the young McGonagall will reportedly be portrayed by Irish actress Fiona Glascott. This is one of the most surprising casting decisions, given that McGonagall's presence contradicts established Harry Potter canon.
Previous references from the Harry Potter books and Rowling's Pottermore website have suggested she shouldn't be born until 1935 - a full eight years after the events of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. It looks as though Rowling has decided to rewrite McGonagall's personal history in order to make her part of the Fantastic Beasts saga. While the teacher isn't expected to play a major part in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, that may mean she's important further on in the franchise. Of course, that's all dependent on her actually appearing in The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Although Nicolas Flamel was never actually mentioned in the Harry Potter books or seen in the films, his influence was decidedly felt. Flamel was the alchemist responsible for creating the Philosopher's Stone (or Sorcerer's Stone), granting him eternal life so long as he consumed an elixir he could create using the Stone.
Flamel is a close friend of Dumbledore's, although it's unclear quite why Newt and Jacob Kowalski will go to visit him in Fantastic Beasts 2. Nicolas Flamel is played by 55 year-old actor Brontis Jodorowsky, who's been significantly aged up for the role. While Flamel may not play a significant role in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, that doesn't mean he can't reappear in Fantastic Beasts 3 in a much larger role, one that could directly connect to the beginnings of the Harry Potter series.
It's easy to forget that Gellert Grindelwald is technically a Harry Potter character. Grindelwald was first name-dropped in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and his history was important in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. For the most part, Johnny Depp is playing the dark wizard who's become the Fantastic Beasts franchise's main antagonist in the prequel. British actor Jamie Campbell Bower played the young Gellert Grindelwald in flashbacks in the Harry Potter films, and the trailers have confirmed he's returning here as well; one scene in the trailer showed Dumbledore gazing into the Mirror of Erised, remembering the friendship he used to have with the wizard supremacist. Bower's return is perfectly appropriate; it makes sense that Dumbledore should see Grindelwald as he was back in the days they were friends.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them revealed that Grindelwald is interested in Obscurials, and it's surely no coincidence he's headed to Paris, where the young Obscurus Credence has attempted to settle down and build a life of his own with a circus.
South Korean actress Claudia Kim is playing Nagini, described as a Maledictus witch - a sorceress whose blood was cursed and is destined to transform into a creature forever. In Nagini's case, there will come a day when she is trapped in the form of a giant snake. This is actually a theory that has been long believed but only recently confirmed.
That serpent will become Voldemort's trusted ally, a creature he controls and uses to inspire terror in his enemies; he'll even turn Nagini into a Horcrux, depositing a small portion of his own soul within her. As Harry Potter book and movie fans are well aware of, Nagini will finally be killed by Neville Richardson during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Page 2 of 2: The Lestranges, Death Eaters, & Other Students
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018