This second instalment of five all-new adventures set in The Wizarding World once again follows the escapades of magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), to whom we were introduced in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (2016), racing around 1920s New York City after his escaped magical creatures.
At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), was captured by the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets 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, a young Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student, Scamander (who has now gained fame in the wizarding world as the author of his textbook, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them), 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.
David Yates (who helmed four of the Harry Potter films) directs once again, and it is written by J. K. Rowling. The original cast adds Jude Law, playing the young Dumbledore; Claudia Kim as a Maledictus, the carrier of a blood curse that means she will ultimately transform into a beast; and X-Men’s Zöe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, who was once close to Scamander but is now engaged to his older brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), a war hero and the Head of the Auror Office at the British Ministry of Magic. Also rejoining the action is Justice League’s Ezra Miller, as the enigmatic Credence. Katherine Waterston returns as Tina Goldstein, who has been reinstated as an Auror for MACUSA; Dan Fogler is Jacob Kowalski, the only No-Maj in the group; and Alison Sudol is Tina’s free-spirited sister, Queenie Goldstein, a Legilimens who can read minds.
“I had the slightly unique opportunity of knowing what happens to Albus as we’ve joined him in the present day in the Harry Potter stories,” said Jude Law at this year’s Comic Con in San Diego. “But still there are secrets and aspects to his personality that are hinted at in the Harry Potter stories, and that are hinted at in this story. What J. K. Rowling always does with all of the characters is… they’re multi-faceted. They’ve all got dark sides and bright sides, and she never judges.”
“I read the script and it has such an intricacy to it. It has so many layers. And it has so many jaw-dropping moments if you’re a Potter fan,” says Redmayne. “Basically, at the end of reading my script, my jaw was on the floor. And I then I had to start and read it all over again.”Expect to be picking your jaw up off the floor as well, when Fantastic Beasts hits cinemas in November.
Select Picturehouse Cinemas are screening an exclusive preview and double bill of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Book now for this special fan event and receive special gifts on the night. 14 November at the following cinemas:
Stratford Upon Avon
Stratford East, London
West Norwood Library & Cinema, London