After the Harry Potter series ended years ago, fans of the Wizarding World still craved for more information to whet their appetites for the years to come. Enter J.K. Rowling as she helped to create the prequel saga known as Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
The first entry in this series has already been released. It features a wizard named Newt Scamander as he puts together a book known as “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.” He ends up in New York and loses many of his magical creatures. He has to then catch them while dealing with a strange villainous plot involving the infamous Gellert Grindelwald.
Now that this series has just begun, work has started on Fantastic Beasts 2, and a synopsis has come out. For those of you speculating what will happen next to our new cast of characters, keep on reading for a crash course on the film.
Here are 15 things you need to know about Fantastic Beasts 2.
15. Grindelwald Will Escape
While he was captured after his discovery at the end of the first film, it goes without saying that Gellert Grindelwald will escape his incarceration. It remains to be seen how he’ll be able to do that, but judging by his impressive abilities during the prologue of the first movie, I’d be shocked if the MACUSA didn’t take any severe casualties.
From that point, Grindelwald will continue to be a powerful force ever present in the series, as he takes the place of the central antagonist similar to the role of Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter. It’s likely that his escape will spawn the journey of Newt to the city of Paris, but we’ll see when the movie comes out. However, it’s all but confirmed that his leave of prison will spark the arrival of another character.
14. Newt Not the Main Focus
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was very much Newt Scamander’s movie. From the title of the film to the premise of him bonding with his creatures, the movie was about him from start to finish. For the sequel, however, it seems that the writers are going to be taking a bit of a different approach.
While Newt will still be the main character, he won’t always be the main focus. After all, how many times can you have creatures break out of a case? Because the series will likely narrow in on Grindelwald more as it goes on, it makes sense that it would bring in more characters to help deal with that. Newt will play his part, but due to the nature of the story, he isn’t required to always be on screen.
13. No Ending in Sight
The Fantastic Beasts series has already been confirmed to span 5 movies. How they’ll manage to stretch content to necessitate something like that is beyond me, but I trust that it will turn out decently. Unfortunately, the problem with a big story like this is that it will drastically affect how Fantastic Beasts 2 plays out.
If the Harry Potter series is anything to go by, don’t expect any tied ends when this movie reaches its closing moments. We might get more information about what’s going to happen, but because it’s part of a series, we likely won’t get any resolution on just about anything. We might get some answers we have to questions spawned at the end of the first film, but that’s as close as we’ll get to any real revelations (in my opinion).
12. Dumbledore’s Appearance
Albus Dumbledore was one of the most mysterious characters in the Harry Potter series. However, it was in The Deathly Hallows where we got a taste of the life that he lived before he became the headmaster of Hogwarts. Now, for Fantastic Beasts 2, it seems that we’ll get to see more of that past on the big screen.
A younger version of Dumbledore has been confirmed to appear in Fantastic Beasts 2. His involvement is unclear at this point, but it’s likely that it’ll have something to do with Grindelwald and his tricks. After all, Dumbledore and Grindelwald were once good friends until a three-way duel ended with the death of Ariana Dumbledore. No doubt we’ll get some great scenes with this character.
11. Leta Lestrange
For those of you perceptive viewers, you’ll notice that Newt had a picture of an old girlfriend in his suitcase. Upon inspection, it was stated that the girl’s name was Leta Lestrange and that Newt still had some sort of fondness for her.
Further complicating things for our favorite zoologist, Leta herself (played by Zoe Kravitz) will appear in Fantastic Beasts 2. While it’s unclear what her role will be, due to the fact that she’s a relative of the insane Bellatrix Lestrange, she’ll probably be working with Grindelwald to some extent while providing some uncomfortable romantic tension for Newt. The measure of the conflict will depend on how much he retains his feelings for her overall, as the first film didn’t have the proper time to delve into it.
10. Newt’s Older Brother
Among the new yet somewhat familiar faces being put into Fantastic Beasts 2, Newt Scamander’s brother, Theseus Scamander, will also be joining the ride (played by Callum Turner). Further details about the character aren’t yet known, but we can make some speculation based on what we know about the story and how J.K. Rowling typically builds her narratives.
For instance, we know that Newt was expelled from Hogwarts at some point, so it’s likely that his brother could be a much more organized individual and look down on his younger sibling for his brash actions. It’s also possible that his brother could be in cahoots with Grindelwald and provide some big conflict for Newt and his companions. Time will tell what the other Scamanders will give to this film.
9. Set in Paris
Fantastic Beasts provided a unique take on the Wizarding World due to its setting in New York. Full of different cultural nuances and subtle dialogue changes, it was fun to see how the world of Harry Potter functioned in a place other than the UK.
Now that the first film is done and out of the way, Newt Scamander will be traveling back to Europe for the second installment. No doubt, it will be a nice “coming home” story not only for Newt but for fans of the series as well. While I doubt that we’ll see Hogwarts again (and perhaps that’s for the best), it will be nice to see how the Wizarding World is different in Paris. How this setting will benefit the story and move it along, we’re not sure yet. Although I guarantee we’ll get some gratuitous shots of the Eiffel Tower.
8. Old Supporting Characters Will Return
Despite being native to New York, it’s already been announced that Tina, Goldie, and Kowalski will all be returning for Fantastic Beasts 2.
If I had to guess why they would cross paths with Newt again, it would be that Grindelwald escaped the MACUSA, and because Tina was given her status as an auror again, she decided to chase him, which would have her bump into Newt. Goldie would probably tag along with her as well. However, the only wild card here is Jacob Kowalski. While he does retain some of the memories of magic, he’s likely still devoid of what happened. Granted, many people will be happy to hear that he’s returning because he was arguably one of the best characters in the first movie.
7. Feature a Circus
One of the more interesting details surrounding Fantastic Beasts 2 was when casting details were announced. Among the expected names, there were a few that people didn’t see coming. Darri Olafsson will be playing Slender, the owner of a magical circus, with Claudia Kim as the highlighted attraction there.
Because of this, it’s clear that some time of Fantastic Beasts 2 will be devoted to this magical circus. What significance this plays to the plot, we don’t yet know. What we do know is that it probably involves Grindelwald in some way, so it can’t turn out good in that regard. However, we hope that the people in charge of the film take the liberties here to create some visually stunning scenes. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
6. Grindelwald Gathering Forces
A big detail in the just-released synopsis has to do with Grindelwald’s presence in the story. Apparently, he’s preparing to attack the Wizarding World and to do so is going to start gathering an army and preparing for war. This is all we know at the moment, and if I may interject, it does sound a little too similar to Voldemort’s plan in Harry Potter.
Nonetheless, because we aren’t tied to a particular school, we may get to watch the villain gather forces and see the heroes do everything they can to resist but ultimately lose out as time goes on. Grindelwald gathering more dark wizards will also help build a sense of dread, which is something that J.K. Rowling has proven to be quite good at.
5. Credence’s Fate
One interesting character in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was the magical teen known as Credence. After suffering a lifetime of hate and repression, he became the destructive force known as an Obscurus. At the end of the film, it seemed that poor Credence had met his grim fate and died after destroying the New York.
However, there is hope for Ezra Miller’s character. Miller has already been confirmed to appear in Fantastic Beasts 2 and had a scene at the end of the first film where he would get on a boat. The point here is that the character is alive, and he’ll appear for the second installment. Now, it’s just a matter of what he’s going to do and how he survived the climax of the first movie.
4. November 2018
If you’re excited to get your hands on the next Fantastic Beasts movie, you’re going to have to wait. Fantastic Beasts 2 is currently scheduled to release on November 16, 2018. Granted, that’s little more than a placeholder at this point. That date is subject to change, whether they decide to release it sooner or later.
That being said, I feel that they could push it up for a summer release, and it still would be extremely successful. There aren’t many excellent summer blockbusters these days for it to compete with. Sure, you’ve got whatever Disney is cooking up in their castle, but other than that, Fantastic Beasts 2 could run unopposed. For now, you’ll have to wait about a year and a half, though.
3. More Dark Magic
Harry Potter explored some dark themes in terms of the application of magic. There were dangerous love potions, killing curses, and of course, the matter of Horcruxes. However, it seems that the Fantastic Beasts series will be exploring darker magic going forward.
In the first installment, there were already several instances where dark magic was incorporated (the biggest of which being Credence turning into a horrendous creature). Due to the fact that Grindelwald is going to enact his swift and terrible vengeance on the Wizarding World, there’s no doubt that he and his followers will be using some lot of dangerous spells to keep our heroes and any other meddler at bay. Where the Harry Potter series started at a PG rating, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them opened with PG-13.
2. David Yates Directing
After Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, and Mike Newell all took their turns at creating movies for the Harry Potter franchise, it was David Yates who directed the last four movies in the series. After the success of the series, J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros thought it fitting to have Yates return to the Wizarding World for Fantastic Beasts.
He already directed the first entry in this new series, and he’ll be returning once more to direct the second installment (filming has already begun). No doubt, we can expect some excellent cinematography and direction with Yates at the helm of the movie. While he isn’t perfect, there are few people better equipped to expand on the Harry Potter universe (in that medium of storytelling anyway).
1. The Gap from the First Movie
When it comes to sequels, there’s no telling how long of a gap will be in place before they pick up from their original films. Due to the long timeline that Fantastic Beasts supposedly has to fill (in order to line up with the big events regarding Grindelwald), many people thought it would be years before Fantastic Beasts 2 picked up.
In terms of a new plot synopsis, however, it’s been revealed that the movie will only take place mere months after the first film. Perhaps this is in place to show how powerful Grindelwald is for escaping so quickly. Whatever the reasoning, I’ll be interested to see how they’ll deal with the timeline in with the rest of the series or if they’ll try and retcon it.
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