J.K. Rowling has revealed Jessica Williams' character in the upcoming sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Five years after the Harry Potter movies concluded their run in 2011, the Wizarding World returned to the big screen with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Written by Rowling and directed by Harry Potter veteran David Yates, the first Fantastic Beasts movie took audiences back in time to 1926. There, they met Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne), magizoologist and author of the eponymous magical textbook.
Of course, Newt was but one of many characters who made their big screen debut in the first Fantastic Beasts film. The movie further introduced the Magical Congress of the United States of America or MACUSA and several of its employees, among them the sisters Porpentina/Tina and Queenie Goldstein (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol). While The Crimes of Grindelwald will shift the action away from America in favor of Paris, it will also incorporate yet another U.S. wizard into the mix and set the stage for them to play an even bigger role in the already-planned Fantastic Beasts 3.
Both Williams and Rowling attended the opening night premiere for the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's run on Broadway this weekend. In addition to posting a photo of herself with Williams to her Twitter account (see the image below), Rowling revealed that Williams is playing Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in The Crimes of Grindelwald. In a subsequent response to a fan question on Twitter, Rowling said the second Fantastic Beasts movie will include only a "hint" of Lally, before her "true glory" is unveiled in the third movie.
Ilvermorny, for those in need of a refresher of their Wizarding World knowledge, is the American wizarding school equivalent to Hogwarts and is located in Massachusetts. The school was previously name-dropped by Queenie in the first Fantastic Beasts movie and is where both of the Goldstein sisters were educated in the magical arts. Based on Rowling's comment that The Crimes of Grindelwald only offers a "hint" of Lally, it sounds like Ilvermony itself probably won't appear onscreen until the third Fantastic Beasts movie, at the earliest. It also remains to be seen if Williams will have violet hair in the film like she does in this photo (though it would be befitting of a wizarding school professor).
With The Crimes of Grindelwald described as taking place "almost entirely" in Paris and focusing on the eponymous dark wizard's ongoing rise to power, it's to be expected that a character like Professor Hicks will only have a limited role to play in the proceedings. All the same, it's encouraging to hear that Williams' appearance in the film will lead to something bigger and better in Fantastic Beasts 3. She's already a star on the rise thanks to her well-received efforts on TV series like Girls and The Daily Show, along with her leading role in the Netflix movie The Incredible Jessica James. With a recurring role in the Fantastic Beasts series, Williams can now add "blockbuster franchise" to her acting resume too.
Source: J.K. Rowling
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018