As fans prepare to return to J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, we present everything you need to know about The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Spoilers to follow.
What’s it about?
1927, New York City. Xenophobic dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald has escaped the imprisonment he was subject to at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and begun recruiting followers.
Set mere months on from its predecessor, The Crimes of Grindelwald sees our hero of Rowling’s Harry Potter spin-off – Newt Scamander – enlisted by Albus Dumbledore to help bring the felon, his former friend, to justice.
Meanwhile, natural Legillimens Queenie Goldstein remains determined to pursue an unlawful relationship with No-Maj baker Jacob Kowalski and so whisks him to England in search of a more open society.
Darker than Fantastic Beasts, the sequel will elevate the stakes, testing love and loyalty in a divided wizarding community.
Who’s in it?
Eddie Redmayne returns to the role of Newt, with Katherine Waterston – recently of Alien: Covenant – too back as re-promoted MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) Auror Tina Goldstein. Dan Fogler once again plays Jacob, with Alison Sudol back as Queenie.
Joining the original cast, first-film cameoer Zoë Kravitz brings to life Newt’s former would-be-love Leta Lestrange – a name to send shivers down the spine of Potter fanatics.
Assassin’s Creed‘s Callum Turner co-stars as Newt’s older brother Theseus, whilst Jude Law becomes the third actor to play Dumbledore, following Richard Harris and Michael Gambon.
A controversial casting, for some, in Fantastic Beasts, Johnny Depp is to play a more prominent role in the sequel as Grindelwald. Stirring further controversy, as well as a great deal of speculation, Claudia Kim has been cast as animorphic Maledictus Nagini – later slave of Voldemort.
There’s room too for Carmen Ejogo, Brontis Jodorowsky – as 600-year-old alchemist Nicolas Flamel – and Ezra Miller, who’s character, Credence, was initially thought to have perished last time around…
Who’s made it?
A more confident Rowling returns for her second stint as screenwriter-producer and is joined again by Potter execs: David Hermann, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.
David Yates takes to the directorial seat for his sixth turn in the Wizarding World, with James Newton-Howard back on music and Phillippe Rousselot behind the film’s magical cinematography.
Fantastic Beasts‘ Oscar-winning costume and production design teams, spearheaded by Colleen Atwood and Stuart Craig respectively, will be hoping for further success here as they too remain in the team.
How many films will this series have?
Truth be told, we’re not convinced anyone actually is certain of this one.
Whereas initial studio suggestions indicated that Fantastic Beasts was to be a trilogy, Rowling later announced her intention to make it five, with a story spanning the years 1926 to 1945.
This compares to eight Potter films from Rowling’s seven books. Fantastic Beasts, meanwhile, is the offspring of just one fact-fictional novella.
The sub-franchise’s third film has already been slated for a release on 20 November 2020.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them made an impressive – if not quite Potter-level – $814m at the worldwide box office in 2016. If The Crimes of Grindelwald comes close to that, the series should have a secure future.
When’s it out?
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will land in cinemas on 16 November.
Watch the trailer here: