Jude Law as Dumbledore and darkness ahead: our first look at Fantastic Beasts 2

The first image and title reveal for the latest big screen JK Rowling adventure promises doom, Depp and a younger Dumbledore

From a slim volume released in 2001 by JK Rowling to benefit charity Comic Relief came last year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, based on the author’s debut crack at screenwriting. And from there sprang an entire five-movie saga based on the adventures of swashbuckling Magizoologist Newt Scamander in the roaring wizarding 20s.

Today, Warner Bros revealed that part two is titled The Crimes of Grindelwald, and released a shot of the new cast, including the returning Eddie Redmayne as Newt, Jude Law as the young Dumbledore, and Johnny Depp is the titular magical meanie. Here’s what we learned by casting our very own Revelio Charm over the big reveal.

That doom-laden title bodes ill

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

What in the wizarding world has Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald been up to since that slightly awkward reveal at the tail end of Fantastic Beasts? He did say they’d never be able to hold him, and it looks like the pasty-faced sorcerer has broken pretty swiftly out of whatever Mucasa jail cell he was thrown into last time out. Blurb for the new movie suggests Grindelwald has been recruiting followers in his quest to enslave all No-Majs and Muggles to the pure-blooded magical master race. If that doesn’t sound nearly evil enough, we like to imagine him stealing bags of Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans from toddlers and scarpering off into the night with a hideous cackle.

Jude Law will make a dapper Dumbledore

Jude Law in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The kindly Hogwarts headmaster didn’t always boast the wardrobe of a colourful Eastern Orthodox cleric. Our first look at Law reimagines Newt Scamander’s mentor in natty blue corduroy with a neatly trimmed beard and handsome, ornately embroidered leather shoes. Word is that Dumbledore will reunite with his former student in an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s nefarious plans.

Grindelwald is armed and dangerous

Look very closely at the newly released photograph and it appears Johnny Depp is holding the legendary Elder Wand, which in Rowling’s Harry Potter books was revealed to be the most powerful in all wizarding history. That doesn’t mean that Grindelwald has attained invincibility, for we know he was in possession of the wand in 1945 when Dumbledore finally defeated him. But it presumably means that even the fiercest of Aurors would think twice before standing in the dark wizard’s way.

Wands at the ready. On 11.16.18 the #FantasticBeasts story continues. Check back tomorrow for more #MagicInProgress. #WizardingWednesdays pic.twitter.com/FLxxfXP1Am

— Fantastic Beasts (@FantasticBeasts) November 15, 2017

The wizarding world is heating up

The Harry Potter movies limited their romantic leanings to the odd snog in the Leaky Cauldron, but the new Fantastic Beasts saga delves into more grownup territory. We already knew from a key scene in the last movie that Eddie Redmayne’s Newt once had his heart broken by fellow Hogwarts student Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz). Now it appears that Scamander lost out in love to his own brother, Callum Turner’s newly introduced Theseus Scamander, who works as an Auror for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and (to cap it all) is described as a war hero.

As if a brotherly love triangle wasn’t troublesome enough, Rowling has previously revealed that Dumbledore himself once had romantic feelings for Grindelwald, dating back to the time the pair spent as callow youths in the village of Godric’s Hollow in 1899. The two ambitious teenagers, who had been dreaming up plans to reconfigure the wizarding world order, eventually fell out following a duel in which Dumbledore’s sickly sister Ariana ended up dead. There are clearly going to be some awkward rendezvous this time around.

Fantastic beasts have been replaced by monsters

Cuddling up to Ezra Miller’s freaky Credence in the new photo is Claudia Kim’s unnamed character, who the film’s blurb reveals is something called a Maledictus, described as “the carrier of a blood curse that destines her ultimately to transform into a beast”. Which side she will end up on we don’t know, but the lure of working with the carrier of the Elder Wand might just prove too much, given we know the magical implement is capable of enhancing wizarding powers far beyond their usual grade. With the wand in his clutches, a powerful mage such as Grindelwald might be able to break the curse, or (even worse) speed up its horrible effects.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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