Why J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will leave you spellbound
Our guide to the film's best bits, all-star cast and insider information.
J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World will continue to delight Harry Potter fans for many years to come with its magical Fantastic Beasts franchise.
The latest film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).
From the hidden Harry Potter Easter eggs, to the introduction of new characters, and setting fans up for future Fantastic Beasts films, here’s why the movie will leave you spellbound...
Who’s in the cast?
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander
British actor Redmayne reprises his role as Newt Scamander, a British Ministry of Magic employee and self-proclaimed magizoologist.
Redmayne won the Best Actor award at the 2015 Oscars for his portrayal as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He’s also appeared in The Danish Girl and Les Misérables.
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald
Depp takes over from Colin Farrell as the infamous powerful dark wizard, who caused mass violence, terror and chaos around the globe. He seeks to lead a new Wizarding World Order based on his strong belief in wizarding superiority.
The American actor is best known for his recurring role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as well as in Sweeney Todd, Finding Neverland and Alice in Wonderland.
Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore
Marking the first time the character has appeared in the Fantastic Beasts Wizarding World, Law plays the influential and powerful wizard. In the film, he’s a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts but Harry Potter fans will know that he eventually works his way up to be headmaster at the wizarding school.
London-born Law has been nominated for two Oscars for his roles in Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr Ripley. He’s also played the lead role of Lenny Belardo in TV series The Young Pope, and its follow-up, The New Pope.
Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein
Like Redmayne, Waterson reprises her role as Porpentina 'Tina' Goldstein from the first film, a half-blood American witch who works for MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
Before Fantastic Beasts, Waterson was known for her roles in Inherent Vice and Steve Jobs, before also appearing in the Alien franchise.
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone
Miller also returns to the Fantastic Beasts franchise as repressed American wizard Credence, who was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone, the leader of a No-Maj anti-witchcraft group called the New Salem Philanthropic Society.
Outside of the Wizarding World, the American actor has a recurring role as Barry Allen / The Flash in the DC Extended Universe, and has also appeared in films including The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Trainwreck.
Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange
Leta is a former student of Hogwarts alongside Newt, but now works at the British Ministry of Magic and is engaged to Newt's brother, Theseus Scamander.
Kravitz - the daughter of singer/actor Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet - has appeared in films including the Divergent franchise, as well as Mad Max: Fury Fans. Some fans might recognise her from her role as Bonnie Carlson in the TV series Big Little Lies.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald also features: Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, Claudia Kim as Nagini, William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama and Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy.
3 reasons to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald...
1. The hidden Harry Potter Easter eggs
Not only did J.K. Rowling create the characters in the Wizarding World, she also wrote the screenplay for The Crimes of Grindelwald, while David Yates - who directed the final four Harry Potter films - directed this movie, so of course there’s going to be some crossover.
Firstly, there’s the overlap of characters between the two Wizarding Worlds, including Dumbledore, Grindelwald, Professor McGonagall, Newt, and members of the Lestrange family.
But there’s also a bigger backstory for Nagini, the giant snake/Horcrux from the Harry Potter books, who - as revealed in the film’s trailer - is actually a human. She’s pictured below with Credence.
J.K. Rowling confirmed that Voldemort's pet snake is a Maledictus - a human with a blood curse who eventually turns into a beast:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry also appears, including the classrooms, the uniforms, The Great Hall, and the famous Mirror of Erised.
2. It introduces us to a young Albus Dumbledore
Hogwarts’ famous headmaster didn't appear in the first Fantastic Beasts movie, but his character makes up for it in The Crimes of Grindelwald by taking a starring role alongside Newt.
In the film, Dumbledore is known in the British Ministry of Magic and throughout the wider wizarding world for his academic brilliance, and is currently teaching at Hogwarts.
He’s strong ally of Newt’s and is called to resist Grindelwald's reign of terror.
Jude Law’s performance as the young professor was praised too, with Peter Bradshaw from the Guardian writing: “The most striking newcomer is young Albus Dumbledore, well played by Jude Law, an enigmatic and charming figure.”
It seems fans were very happy with the casting choice of Jude Law as Dumbledore, too, according to Twitter:
We look forward to seeing what he brings to future Fantastic Beasts films! Which leads us to...
3. The film sets fans up for more magic in the Fantastic Beasts Wizarding World
The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second film in the Fantastic Beasts Wizarding World, after J.K. Rowling confirmed there’ll be five films in the franchise.
According to Variety, Rowling said at a fan event in 2016: “We always knew that it was going to be more than one movie - we knew that from the start - so we set a trilogy as a sort of placeholder, because we knew there would be more than one movie.
“But I’ve now done the plotting properly, so we’re pretty sure it’s going to be five movies.”
She later confirmed that the series' story would consist of a sequence of events that occurred between the years of 1926 and 1945, ending in World War II, reports Inverse.
Many Potter fans are speculating that the five films are setting us up for the epic duel in 1945 between Dumbledore vs Grindelwald (pictured above), plus an appearance from a young Tom Riddle (later known as Lord Voldermort).
As the films are going up to 1945, this covers the time period when Tom Riddle is at Hogwarts before he graduates from the wizarding school.
The next Fantastic Beasts film is slated for a 2020/21 release, so there’s still plenty of time to catch up on the timeline.
Trivia: Did you know…
1. Newt is confirmed on Pottermore.com to be a Hufflepuff, whereas Leta - who was at Hogwarts with him at the same time - is thought to belong to Slytherin.
2. Some exterior and interior scenes of Hogwarts were shot at Lacock Abbey - the same filming location as the Harry Potter films.
3. According to IMDB, Callum Turner instinctively kissed Eddie Redmayne on the top of his head during the audition for Newt’s brother, Theseus. He believes that was what got him the role. Funnily enough, the pair - who play the Scamander brothers - grew up a few minutes’ walk from each other in London’s Chelsea.
4. Jude Law got in touch with Warner Brothers immediately after watching the first Fantastic Beasts film, according to Insider. Following that, the actor met with J.K. Rowling who revealed “everything about Dumbledore” that she’s ever known.
5. [SPOILER AHEAD] Jamie Campbell Bower and Toby Regbo both reprised their roles as Young Grindelwald and Young Dumbledore, respectively, in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, having previously appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. They’re the only two original Harry Potter actors to appear in both Wizarding World franchises.
Watch Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald if you liked…
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, the Harry Potter films, The House With A Clock In Its Walls, Mary Poppins, The Chronicles of Narnia films.
What the fans are saying:
Newt and Tina, Dumbledore and Grindelwald, Credence and Nagini, and Jacob and Queenie, fans had a lot to say about the relationships in Fantastic Beasts [SPOILERS AHEAD]…