New reports suggest that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will feature a young Minerva McGonagall. The part was played by Dame Maggie Smith in the original Harry Potter films, and in Fantastic Beasts, a younger version of her character will be played by Irish actress Fiona Glascott.
One of the key characters in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Professor McGonagall was Head of Gryffindor and a firm, but fair teacher who had something of a soft spot for Harry and his friends. Throughout the series, her resilience, close bond with Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, and respected presence at Hogwarts resulted in McGonagall becoming a fan favorite among Rowling's characters. Now, with the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel featuring classic characters like Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, it turns out that McGonagall is the next in line to make an appearance of her own.
According to PopCulture.com, Fiona Glascott (Brooklyn) will play a younger version of Professor McGonagall in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. However, it's unclear whether or not she will be portrayed as a Hogwarts professor, given the timeline of the sequel. McGonagall began her career as a professor at Hogwarts in the 1950s, while Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in the late 1920s. That said, the film series could easily retcon McGonagall's backstory in order to fit her into the story more fluidly.
By the looks of it, the Fantastic Beasts films are beginning to feel like proper prequels to the Harry Potter books and films, as opposed to being a series that stands on its own. Aside from the fact that Newt Scamander himself was referenced in the original books as the author of one of Harry's classroom textbooks, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is confirmed to feature everything from the Mirror of Erised to the secret origin of Nagini, Voldemort's beloved snake. Even Nicolas Flamel has been thrown into the mix, for reasons that are currently unknown.
The popular takeaway from all of these familiar faces showing up in the Fantastic Beasts series is that they're making J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World feel unusually small. Assuming there must be other great witches and wizards who have yet to be referenced in either the Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts series, bringing back familiar names risks making the universe feel restricted. Then again, given the massive popularity surrounding Harry Potter, it's entirely logical that Warner Bros. would want to grace audiences with a few familiar faces, and McGonagall may well only show up for the sake of harmless fan service.
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018