Fantastic Beasts 2 (for lack of an official title) will hit the silver screen in November 2018. But unlike Harry Potter, we know how this new series will end-with the final battle between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. Our beloved J.K. Rowling will be writing the screenplays, David Yates is set to direct and filming begins this summer.
What we know about the plot is slim. Dumbledore and Grindelwald were dear friends growing up, they wished to find the Deathly Hallows and in an aggressive fight between the two (along with Dumbledore’s brother Aberforth), Albus ‘younger sister Ariana was killed. It’s not known whose curse killed her.
We know that Dumbledore will be in his mid-40’s and is Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts, where he fought against the expulsion of our new friend Newt Scamander. Newt and Leta Lestrange (you know that name!) were friends at school before his expulsion. And that’s pretty much it! Everything else currently resides in rumourville.
It was recently announced that Jude law will be portraying “young” Dumbledore and it’s a casting choice I couldn’t agree with more. His kind blue eyes, stature, and voice seem to be a perfect match for the wizard we know and love. Will he portray Dumbledore like Richard Harris did the first two films? Gentle and blissful? Or will he be the mysterious and zany version played by Michael Gambon in films three through eight? How different will he be? People change, experiences influence us and the world itself changes. I don’t expect him to be the same man we’ve known, so I invite everyone to go into the next four movies with an open mind regarding the man we’re about to meet. I am also dying to see the state of Dumbledore’s beard in this new film. I mean he didn’t grow that thing overnight!
Regarding the new cast we have just met in Beasts, I will be one of the first to say I am not happy with the casting of Gellert Grindelwald. Johnny Depp is a fantastic character actor and I am a fan of his work in general, just not in this series. Grindelwald is German, and while I can’t name many German actors off the top of my head, I’m sure there is a Grindelwald in Germany somewhere!
One of the things I loved most about the Harry Potter series and J.K.’s style was that throughout the series she was firm on British actors playing British roles. So I was naively expecting that formula to run through all of the future films. Not just British actors and actresses, but the actor matching the role. For example, the Beauxbatons cast in The Goblet of Fire were French and the Americans in Beasts were played by Americans – with the exception of Colin Farrell, but his character was a two for one (Graves was Grindelwald in disguise). It’s the same regarding the casting of Leta Lestrange; American actress Zoe Kravitz is portraying the British character.
But when it comes to Mr. Scamander himself, I think they nailed it. Eddie Redmayne is a fantastic actor (as if his Oscar didn’t speak for that already), and everything right down to how Newt leans to one side was spot on. I adore Eddie and think he will continue to be incredible in his journey as Newt.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a great film and a perfect introduction to a wizarding world we have only briefly heard about. I don’t expect much of the cast to be returning for the future films aside from the names mentioned before. This film was more of an introduction to the old wizarding world rather than to the wizards themselves. The creatures were fascinating but certainly not a driving point for the films ahead (aside from the Obscurial of course; the violent mystical parasite that suppresses a witch or wizard’s magical abilities).
Meeting Newt, learning about the Obscurial and seeing the fragile state the wizarding world is in are probably the biggest details to take away from the first film. We didn’t learn a great deal about Grindelwald himself, but rather his influence on the wizarding communities around the globe.
Fantastic Beasts reminded me of the first two Harry Potter books and films; an innocent story that will lead to much darker times. I suspect the subsequent stories will unfold much like the original series did, with each movie becoming darker, more dangerous and getting your heart racing a few more steps every time (even if it’s just the Warner Brother’s logo getting darker with smoke pluming around it).
And that’s what excites me. Most of us grew up with this series, eagerly waiting for each new book, staying up late reading and anticipating the next film. The characters were our friends and other fans our family (this is one of the most welcoming fandoms out there!). Find a fellow Potter-head and I guarantee you they will know their Hogwarts house, their Patronus, their favourite class and which character’s death broke their heart the most (for me it was Hufflepuff, Dun Mare horse, Care of Magical Creatures, and Dobby).
A new generation now gets to grow up with this new series in a way many of us did before. So let’s get our quills out and send an owl to J.K. Rowling to tell her to hurry up with the next adventure! We’re waiting.
Always waiting. Always.
Smithsonian (properly and legally named Emily Elizabeth) is perfectly stuck in the past. Whether it’s admiring our greatest literary inheritance William Shakespeare, collecting Smith Corona typewriters, obsessing over world history or practicing Morse code, it’s all covered. Top it off with some Harry Potter, Christopher Nolan, Marvel (is better than DC), Star Wars and a dash of rugby and hockey and there isn’t much remaining but skin and bone. Full of useless and yet fun filled facts, a Nerd is in this bird (calling a girl “bird” goes as far back as the 1300’s. The initial word was “burd” or “burde” which meant “young women”. And now you know).