Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is coming, and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s the second in the Fantastic Beasts series, a Harry Potter spinoff set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. Here, you’ll find out when the Fantastic Beasts 2 is coming out, who’s in it and what we know about the plot so far. You can also watch the first official trailer.
It’s is set to be one of the biggest films of 2018, alongside the Han Solo Star Wars spin-off and Avengers: Infinity War. You can see all of the best films coming out in 2018 and watch their trailers here.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out on 16 November 2018, two years after the first in the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
If you’re in the US, you can sign up to get alerts when tickets go on sale from Fandango.
This is just the second movie in what is set to be a five film series, and we expect the remaining three to be released on 2020, 2022 and 2024.
Returning for the second movie are some of the actors and characters we got to know in the first. Main character Newt Scamander is played by Eddie Redmayne, and you’ll Dan Fogler is Jacob Kowalski.
Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol also return as Tina and Queenie Goldstein, while Ezra Miller plays Credence Barebone.
Right at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we got a glimpse of Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald, who, as you can tell by its title, is set to play a much bigger part in the new movie.
New to the cast is Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore, and further new faces include Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange and Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander.
The film is directed by David Yates, who directed the final four instalments in the Harry Potter series as well as the first in the Fantastic Beasts series.
The screenplay has been written by Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling.
Unlike the Harry Potter movies themselves, the Fantastic Beasts series plot is a secret until the films land in cinemas. We knew and loved the Harry Potter books before the movies were released, but this time it’s movie first, book second.
The series was inspired by the fictional book of the same name that Harry and his friends were required to read as part of the Hogwarts curriculum, written by Newt Scamander himself. Following its release in cinemas, the screenplay (written by J.K. Rowling) was published as a book, and we expect the same to be true with the second movie.
That hasn’t stopped speculation about what’s in store for fans. The trailer reveals we’ll be returning to Hogwarts, and we already know that we’re set to find out more about Albus Dumbledore and his battle with dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. That very battle was first mentioned in the first Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, so it won’t come as a surprise to fans.
At the end of the first film, we see Grindelwald captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), but two years on the powerful wizard has managed to escape custody and is gathering followers. Unlike Voldermort’s followers, many of Grindelwald’s aren’t aware that his true agenda is to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over the non-magical beings (Muggles, No-Majs).
In an attempt to stop him, Dumbledore (then a Transfiguration professor) enlists the help of Newt.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Law surprised fans by revealing that he and Depp don't actually share any scenes in the movie, which means Dumbledore and Grindelwald won't be seen together this time.
"I don't actually have any scenes with Johnny," he revealed. "This is only part 2 of a longer story. I've always admired him from afar, but we don't know each other, and I've not yet met him on this."
He went on to explain that the situation suits the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. "It's been many years since they've seen each other. So there's complexity in that that's fun to mine. Again, the past will reveal itself."
We had expected to see the pair together in this film, as their early lives were very much intertwined and much of the reason Newt finds himself in conflict with Grindelwald is down to Dumbledore.
Dumbledore and Grindelwald's past is a romantic one, something Rowling revealed after all seven Harry Potter books were published, but when Entertainment Weekly asked director David Yates whether this would be explored, or whether the film would make it clear that Dumbledore is gay in the upcoming movie he said:
"Not explicitly. But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other's idea, and ideology and each other."
We're hoping to see more about their relationship in future installments in the series if not in this one. At a press conference in 2016, Rowling said: "I can't tell you everything I would like to say because this is obviously a five-part story so there's lots to unpack in that relationship. You'll see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man - he wasn't always the sage... We'll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned... watch this space."
Law has also said "you're just getting to know Albus in this film, and there's obviously a lot more to come. We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally which I'm excited to reveal. But we're not going to reveal everything all at once."
And since the news broke that Dumbledore's sexuality won't be made clear in this year's movie she has tweeted:
Being sent abuse about an interview that didn't involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that's only one instalment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what's even *more* fun? pic.twitter.com/Rj6Zr8aKUk— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2018
Back in 2016, IMDB seemed to leak plot details of the second Fantastic Beasts movie. It took the summary down when it realised its mistake, but not before The Leaky Cauldron caught it and published it on its blog.
If it’s to be believed, the leak suggests it’s been two years since the end of the last movie, and Newt is living back in the UK. He has published his book, and is finally over Leta Lestrange.
The first trailer gives us further clues about the plot of Crimes of Grindelwald. Jacob is back (and appears to have his memories back?), Newt’s brother Theseus is set to make an appearance and we’re going on a trip to Paris. Leta Lestrange will be introduced, and we already know she was a former love interest of Newt’s that betrayed him.
Do you have any theories about Crimes of Grindelwald? Let us know in the comments section below or on Twitter.
Photos and posters
We've seen several official images from the movie to give us a glimpse at what to expect when it hits cinemas later this year.
There's also a poster for the film, and we expect to see several more as the release date approaches.
Watch the trailers
So far, there's only one trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald. It was released on 13 March 2018, giving us our first glimpse at what's in store. We see Jude Law in his role as Dumbledore, and discover that we're set to return to Hogwarts.
Watch the trailer below.