In the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald, the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has been captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
Harry Potter readers and film fans may already be familiar with some of the crimes of Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. He first appeared in the Potter stories as the villain of Dumbledore’s generation, and we learned he was expelled from Durmstrang for ‘twisted experiments’ among other things.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was set some years after that time, and in the intervening years Grindelwald caused chaos across Europe, gaining infamy for trying to create a wizarding hierarchy to dominate all non-magical beings. He was eventually caught while disguised as Auror Percival Graves and imprisoned by MACUSA.
In New York, Grindelwald recruited a young man called Credence – plagued by a repressed, dangerous magical energy called an Obscurus – and tried to use him to expose the magical community to No-Majs. So, that’s just a few of his ‘crimes’ to start with…
According to Warner Bros., in the new film Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) has escaped custody and will be seen gathering followers to his nefarious cause. This next film will also see Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) enlisted by Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) to try and stop him.
A new ensemble photo has also been released accompanying the film title reveal, featuring the first look at Dumbledore and Grindelwald in their rather dapper costumes.
We also have fresh looks at the central cast, including Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein(Katherine Waterston) with a new haircut, Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), who are all confirmed to return.
There are also some new characters: Newt’s older brother, Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), and his fiancée, Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz), who was seen in a photo in the first film.
Credence, played by Ezra Miller, is also confirmed to return, and features in the ensemble photo next to a mysterious character played by Claudia Kim. The character is known as a ‘Maledictus’: someone who suffers from a ‘blood curse’ that turns them into a beast.
Other characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, such as MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo), will also be back for this second adventure.
As well as Grindelwald and Dumbledore, other familiar names to Harry Potter fans are set to appear in the new film too, including alchemist Nicolas Flamel – first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Leta Lestrange’s more pronounced involvement in this film will no doubt intrigue fans, seeing as her last name is shared with a key Harry Potter character, the Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange.
The Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams will also appear in a new, undisclosed role. You can read more about the new cast here.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in New York, Paris and London, where we will see love and loyalties tested in this tumultuous time in the wizarding world.
David Yates returns to direct Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is out in cinemas on November 16th, 2018.