Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be the title of the Harry Potter spinoff sequel, which is starting to take shape.

News Joseph Baxter

Jan 18, 2018

Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them lie ahead.

The magizoological exploits of Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander continue in this sequel to the 2016 Harry Potter movie series spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. While it reunites Newt with American friends Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and muggle Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), the stakes will rise significantly as Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald steps into the sinister spotlight, concocting a dangerous new plot. Thankfully, a younger version of the sagely Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) will help tackle this threat.

David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter films, as well as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, is directing this movie.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald News

Harry Potter fans now have a new word to add to their lexicon: Non–magique.

That’s the nomenclature that the wizarding communities of France embrace regarding non-magical people, as will be revealed in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, according EW. Of course, it contrasts with the tried-and-true U.K. Hogwarts-standard word, “muggle,” and, as we learned in the original Fantastic Beasts, the American term, “no-maj.”

With the sequel shifting location to gay Paree, director David Yates explains:

“[The wizarding world in Paris is] quite glamorous, it’s quite beautiful. There’s a community that lives alongside the muggle community, it’s much freer than in New York, where there’s segregation.” Adding, “Paris is a bit like England, actually, not so hung up about the differences between the two. Magical people can freely move into non-magical communities as long as they’re discrete about their talents…”

However, don’t expect the series to stay in Paris beyond this second film, since it was recently confirmed that each of the five films in the series will be set in a different city around the world, making it a magical globe-trotting cinematic quintet.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Photos

The latest Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald official image shows Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander – wand in hand – holding a postcard (likely a magic one,) that seems to be beckoning him toward Paris, where a good deal of the sequel will take place.

The two photos below, one of which showcases a surprisingly suave side of Albus Dumbledore, arrived via USA Today.

First, we get another fascinating look at the would-be-sagely Albus Dumbledore at a radically different aesthetic stage in life. While we’ve already caught a few glimpses of Jude Law’s young 1927 version of the character, sporting a long coat and a defiant sneer, this photo shows Dumbledore looking smooth and dapper (#Dapperdore?) as he engages in a likely-consequential conversation.

The second image shows Johnny Depp’s scheming titular character, Gellert Grindelwald, joined by a new partner in his eponymous “crimes,” named Rosier, played by Poppy Corby-Tuech. The plot that Grindelwald is concocting will utilize his cult of personality appeal in an attempt to recruit more wizards to further his goal of ridding the world of all non-magical beings.

The previous image came from Empire.

The above photo shows a reunion of the would-be romance between Katherine Waterston’s American wizard, Tina Goldstein, and Eddie Redmayne’s wayward Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander. Judging by the hand-caught-in-the-cookie-jar expressions, the duo appear to be in a bit of a bind, presumably somewhere in Paris, where a good portion of the film is expected to take place. 

The image released before that one arrived by way of Total Film magazine, via sister site Gamesradar.

As we can see here, formerly-obliviated muggle/no-maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), schlepping a bucket for some reason, is reunited with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), walking on the cobblestone streets of Paris. While the official context of the photo was not provided, the intent seen in their faces implies that they could be chasing something, perhaps another wayward beast.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Release Date

The film will be released on November 16th, 2018. Five films have been planned overall.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Details

As more intriguing plot details about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald emerge, discussion about the titular fantastic beasts themselves has been oddly scarce. However, it seems that Newt Scamander’s mischievous suitcase dwellers will still live up to the billing of the first part of the sequel’s title.  

Executive producer David Heyman reveals that while the plot has shifted away from the escape of the beasts in the first film, they will still be a strong presence in the Paris-set sequel. As Heyman explains to EW:

There are as many beasts in the film as in the first. But the main driver in the first film was finding the beasts. That’s not the driver in this film, it’s not a central part of the plot. But beasts feature in the film and feature strongly.”

Eddie Redmayne, who stars as the keeper of the movie’s magizoological menagerie, Newt Scamander, also confirms that we’ll see the return of purloining platypus the Niffler, as well as Pickett, the Bowtruckle (green twig pet,) that lives in Newt’s pocket. However, he also teases the presence of a new creature that originates from a continent that’s not typically referenced in the Harry Potter mythology. According to Redmayne, “There’s a Chinese creature that’s formidable.”

Big news regarding the film’s setting…

It appears that the Fantastic Beasts sequel’s eponymous “crimes of Grindelwald” will not fall under the jurisdiction of either the NYPD or MACUSA. While the first film set itself in New York City, introducing audiences to the hierarchy of the wizarding community of the United States, executive producer David Heyman tells EW that the 1927-set Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will take place “almost entirely” in Paris, France.

Before the reveal of Paris as the sequel’s primary setting, Heyman previously explained at length:

“We delve deeper into [J.K. Rowling’s] wizarding world — we’re in Paris, we’re in London and New York — the world is expanding. As you can tell from the [cast photo], we’re following quite a few characters. The new film has a very different feel than the first. It’s got a thriller quality. And it’s also a story about love and passion and all its forms — paternal, romantic, political. And it’s just a thrilling and very fun adventure. We took all we’ve learned from one and just expanded that and created a richer, deeper and more thrilling film which I’m excited to be a part of.”

Consequently, it’s looking like the Fantastic Beasts films are serving to paint a wider picture of the wizarding world, which introduces the possibility that future installments of the film series – purportedly planned for five films total – could become a continent-jumping global tour.

Check out our gallery to see the larger version.

With the major revelation of the sequel title, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, comes the official logo and first photo of the cast, which, besides showing the updated returning characters, gives us our very first look at Jude Law as a younger (badass-looking,) version of Albus Dumbledore! While Newt’s story is still central, the old friendship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald will take a dominant spot in the story this time, as we witness the latter becoming one of the most powerful dark wizards the world has ever seen (at least until that Tom Riddle kid shows up later in the mythology and starts calling himself Voldemort).

On another interesting note, Dumbledore is seen holding the mysterious black wand showed in the recent Twitter teaser photo opposite the famed Elder Wand, which Grindelwald is clearly holding. While details about the black wand on the right were initially a mystery (more on that later), Harry Potter connoisseurs immediately recognized the skinnier wand on the left as the powerful Elder Wand, a prominent part of the wizarding mythology and one of the three Deathly Hallows, which, coupled with the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility, is said to grant the possessor mastery over death itself.  

In the Harry Potter films, the Elder Wand was famously wielded by Albus Dumbledore, later taken by Voldemort and eventually mastered (and subsequently destroyed,) by Harry Potter himself. However, Fantastic Beasts big bad Gellert Grindlewald possessed it before all of them, having stolen it as a young man (played by Jamie Campbell Bower,) from Mykew Gregorovitch in a scene depicted in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

That’s where the revelatory nature of the wand photo comes into play. Dumbledore would come into possession of the object after he famously defeated rival Gellert Grindelwald in a legendary 1945 duel. While that’s quite far away from the 1927 setting of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we do know that the Elder-Wand-wielding Grindelwad will be present, now played by Johnny Depp, who will ignite a legendary rivalry with Albus Dumbledore, played here by Jude Law.

Thus, with the first official cast photo showing Dumbledore holding the formerly-mysterious black wand, the wand teaser image pretty much confirms a major showdown of some kind with Grindelwald, which is exciting stuff.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Cast

Let’s start with the two newest additions!

Brontis Jodorowsky has been announced to play a character who’s well-known in the history of the Harry Potter universe. Jodorowsky will embody the role of Nicolas Flamel, an oft-mentioned legendary alchemist – several centuries old, thanks to the Elixir of Life – who is credited as the maker of the mythology’s original MacGuffin, the Philosopher’s Stone. Since the character was also said to be a friend of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (played this time by Jude Law,) expect Flamel to become a key character in the fight against Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald.  

For Jodorowsky, a veteran Mexican actor, this potentially crucial role in the blockbuster Fantastic Beasts sequel will be the centerpiece of a global coming out party of sorts, with roles already booked for 2017 crime thriller Opus Zero, opposite Willem Dafoe, and director José Padilha’s upcoming 2018 crime thriller Entebbe, opposite Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl and Eddie Marsan.

Jessica Williams has also been cast for a mystery role. The actress, who gained significant exposure as a correspondent on The Daily Show from 2012-2016, has been quietly boosting her onscreen CV. She recently starred in the Netflix comedy movie The Incredible Jessica James, with previous film appearances in Hot Tub Time Machine 2, People Places Things and Delivery Man. She also fielded a 2014 recurring run on HBO’s Girls. – Long before all of that, she was part of the 2006 Nickelodeon comedy Just for Kicks.

The start of production announcement also brought with it casting confirmations. Eddie Redmayne is back in the lead role of Newt Scamander, while Katherine Waterston is Auror Tina Goldstein, Alison Sudol is Queenie, and Dan Fogler is Jacob Kowalski.

Then we get Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore (the younger version), Ezra Miller as Credence, Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, and Claudia Kim, whose character hasn’t been named.

David Sakurai will play a character named Krall, described as an “ambitious and sulky henchman” of Gellert Grindelwald, which, per the first film’s culminating twist, reverts from Colin Farrell to Johnny Depp in the sequel. The Japanese-American actor was recently seen on Netflix’s Marvel Comics TV series Iron Fist as the chain-swinging villain, Scythe. He’s also been seen in films such as 2017 drama Housewife, 2016 actioner Karate Kill, biographically-inspired 2014 action crime drama Dark Samurai (as its star) and fielded a recurring role on Netflix’s Steven Van Zandt-starring, Norway-set, crime series Lilyhammer.

Pottermore revealed more of the supporting cast, whose characters’ surnames will ring familiar to Harry Potter fans.

Wolf Roth will play Spielman

Victoria Yeates (Call the Midwife) will play Bunty

Derek Riddell will play Torquil Travers

Poppy Corby-Tuech will play Rosier

Cornell S John will play Arnold Guzman.

The names “Travers” and “Rosier” notably belong to two Death Eaters who, later down the line, will serve the evil Voldemort.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Story

From the official announcement comes the following story details…

J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film, which opens in 1927, a few months after Newt helped to unveil and capture the infamous Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. However, as he promised he would, Grindelwald has made a dramatic escape and has been gathering more followers to his cause—elevating wizards above all non-magical beings. The only one who might be able to stop him is the wizard he once called his dearest friend, Albus Dumbledore. But Dumbledore will need help from the wizard who had thwarted Grindelwald once before, his former student Newt Scamander. The adventure reunites Newt with Tina, Queenie and Jacob, but his mission will also test their loyalties as they face new perils in an increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world.

The film expands the wizarding world, moving from New York to London and on to Paris. There are also some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of the books and film series.

This seemingly-innocuous image shows an advertisement for a book launch event promoting Newt Scamander’s eponymous “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” wizarding world zoological guidebook, which several decades later, will become a crucial component of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts curriculum. Thus, we now know specifically when the 1927-set sequel will start, set in a time period when Newt’s magical magnum opus is about to be published.

A newly published author must have a book launch party. Newt Scamander has been busy. #MagicInProgress #FantasticBeasts #WizardingWednesdays

A post shared by Fantastic Beasts Film (@fantasticbeastsmovie) on

Here’s the film’s first official piece of promotional material. Intriguingly, we see an appetite-whetting image of Newt Scamander’s travel application from the Ministry of Magic, which has been ignominiously denied, due to him being “uncooperative and evasive on reasons for last trip.”