Fans attending Warner Bros. Pictures' panel at Comic-Con got a special treat from actor Johnny Depp during the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald presentation. The studio had kept its guests and program secret, for the most part, but it was easy to assume what they would be showing off: all the DC movies, The LEGO Movie 2, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and not to mention, Fantastic Beasts 2.
The Crimes of Grindelwald follows up 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and is a prequel story that takes place in 1926, almost 70 years before the rest of the series. It follows magizoologist and writer of the eponymous book, Newt Scamander, as he gets caught up in a burgeoning conflict between good and bad wizards, such as Depp's Gellert Grindelwald, who first appeared in the final moments from the first film.
Depp took to the stage in Hall H - in character - to deliver a scary speech about his plan to take over the world. He frames it as being "for the good of humanity." But he's just clearly a villain, and he definitely doesn't mean that.
The novels describe Grindelwald as one of the most powerful Dark Wizards off all time. It's possible he was second in ability only to Lord Voldemort. In his youth, Grindelwald and future Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore were friends, but the relationship soured when Grindelwald turned evil. According to franchise creator J.K. Rowling, the two had a romantic entanglement. But this has not appeared explicitly in either the Harry Potter books or movies. The Fantastic Beasts movies provide an opportunity to get into that aspect of the wizards' past, but so far, it hasn't been clear as to whether they actually will.
Warner Bros. is planning five Fantastic Beasts films that will show the rising tensions between Dumbledore's side and Grindelwald's. And Potter fans know that this will culminate in one of the most famous magic duels in history. Director David Yates has helmed every Wizarding World film since 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and he's currently signed up for the entire new quintology as well, of which The Crimes of Grindelwald mark the second installment in that series. Warner Bros. premiered a new trailer for Fantastic Beasts 2 at Comic-Con, which was hyped up by Johnny Depp's appearance at the Hall H panel.
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- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018