With exactly a year to go until the latest instalment in the Harry Potter franchise is released, Fantastic Beasts 2 finally has a movie title: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
If that title is anything to go by, Johnny Depp’s dark wizard is set to take centre stage in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie, although in the newly released cast photo Grindelwald is standing menacingly to the side.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in cinemas on 16th November 2018, with Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander returning alongside Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore.
The image above sees Law on the far left of the picture opposite Depp, in the first look we’ve had at the British actor in character.
New cast member Zoe Kravitz also appears as Leta Lestrange in the cast photo – she is only briefly alluded to in the first film, but we know that she was, at the very least, a close friend of Newt’s at school. By taking the blame for something Lestrange did, Newt was expelled from Hogwarts. Leta Lestrange – Lestrange – is now engaged to Newt’s brother Theseus (played by Callum Turner).
But what could Grindelwald’s “crimes” in the title refer to? Well, according to Harry Potter canon, Grindelwald and his fanatical followers launched a series of devastating attacks across Europe, with the attacks drawing international attention from wizarding authorities. The attacks even affected the Muggle world, threatening to reveal the secret of wizards and lead to war.
The film’s full synopsis also hints at dark times to come for the wizarding world.
At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped 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 (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.
The announcement also confirms that Fantastic Beasts actor Ezra Miller will return for the sequel as Credence Barebone, despite his fate being uncertain at the end of the first movie.
Familiar Harry Potter character Nicolas Flamel – alchemist and maker of the Philosopher’s Stone – will also appear in the upcoming film.
David Yates returns to direct Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which will be released on 16th November 2018.