The Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer barely includes Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), so we discuss why that may be. In 2016, Warner Bros. reteamed with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling to bring a new Wizarding World tale to life. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them kicked off what is said to be a five-film franchise following previously unexplored characters. The first film focused on Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magizoologist who tracked down magical creatures in 1926 New York City.
However, Fantastic Beasts also set the stage for the film series as a whole, introducing the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald as the new franchise’s main antagonist. But, though Grindelwald is expected to be the main villain of the sequel and his name is even in the film’s title, the character appeared very little in the first teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Instead, the teaser focused on returning characters like Newt and introducing viewers to the younger version of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). So, why wasn’t Depp’s Grindelwald in the trailer very much?
According to the official synopsis for The Crimes of Grindelwald, the film will deal with the titular dark wizard enlisting followers to his cause of establishing wizards as benevolent overlords of non-magical folks. The growing conflict in the wizarding world will necessitate Dumbledore asking for help from Newt in taking on Grindelwald. Since Grindelwald is at the heart of the conflict in The Crimes of Grindelwald, you might think he’d be a major aspect of the trailer, but he isn’t. Now, we discuss why Grindelwald doesn’t appear much in the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer and what it may mean for both his role in the sequel and the series as a whole.
This Page: Why is Johnny Depp Not in the Teaser?
Why Is Johnny Depp Not In The Teaser?
Depp’s Grindelwald appears twice in the Fantastic Beasts 2 teaser trailer. He’s shown once from behind with his recognizable white-blonde hair standing in front of the Wizengamot, the high court of law and parliament as part of the Ministry of Magic. Then he’s shown again, with a much more ragged appearance in a carriage facing down two wands. Of course, Grindelwald was captured at the end of Fantastic Beasts after his disguise as Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) was revealed. However, we know that in The Crimes of Grindelwald he will escape and begin gathering followers, but first it appears he’ll have to face the Wizengamot for his crimes.
Still, those two scenes offer very little insight into what to expect from the titular character in The Crimes of Grindelwald. It’s possible Warner Bros. is holding Grindelwald back because this is a teaser trailer and they don’t want to reveal too much. We know the main conflict involves Newt attempting to defeat Grindelwald, and since this teaser is only our first look at the film, it’s likely a full-length trailer will include more of the dark wizard.
Certainly, Warner Bros. has kept as much close to the vest as possible in regards to its Fantastic Beasts films. The casting of Depp as Grindelwald was only reported just before screenings of the first film began – likely to get ahead of anyone leaking the reveal of his character in Fantastic Beasts. Plus, there’s still a great deal we don’t know about the sequel. Warner Bros. holding back Grindelwald in the first Fantastic Beasts 2 teaser trailer is likely indicative of the studio trying not to reveal too much and retain some mystery about his character in the film.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that Warner Bros. didn’t include much Grindelwald in the trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald due to the controversy surrounding Depp’s involvement in the franchise. In mid-2016, Depp’s now ex-wife Amber Heard was granted a temporary restraining order against him on the grounds of domestic violence. She later retracted her request for the restraining order and the two settled their divorce privately, releasing a joint statement. However, the evidence Heard provided for the request was made public and later prompted many Harry Potter fans to criticize Warner Bros. for casting Depp as Grindelwald.
In the time since Depp first appeared in Fantastic Beasts, many fans have continued to call for the studio, Rowling, and director David Yates to remove or recast him in the franchise. As Warner Bros. ramped up promotion of The Crimes of Grindelwald, those involved in the film were called on to respond to Depp’s continued involvement in the series – though both Yates’ and Rowling’s responses to the controversy arguably did more harm than good. As such, it’s possible Warner Bros. held Depp’s Grindelwald back in the first teaser for the sequel to avoid calling attention to his involvement in the film and prevent further controversy.
So what can fans expect of Grindelwald’s actual role in the Fantastic Beasts sequel? It will likely be more important than viewers would presume based on how little he appears in the first teaser. Considering the sequel is titled Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, it seems likely Depp’s character will be at the forefront of the film – if not in actual screen time then at least in spirit as the main antagonist.
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