Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald release date, trailers, cast, plot and everything else you need to know

Still from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Anticipation is building ahead of the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald release date

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second film installment in the Harry Potter spinoff series and the tenth in the Wizarding World franchise that includes the original Harry Potter movie series.

The Fantastic Beast series was originally planned as a trilogy, but it was later expanded in scope to include five films that form the prequel series to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

The Fantastic Beasts film series, planned to cover about 19 years prior to the epic battle between Grindelwald and Dumbledore in 1945 (the year Tom Riddle graduated from Hogwarts), follows the magical adventures  of the magizoologist Newt Scamander.

In the first installment of the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Scamander arrives in New York  in 1926 on a global expedition to document the world’s magical creatures and their habitats. He ends up getting involved in the affairs of the magical community in the U.S. His involvement  builds up to the epic confrontation in 1945 between the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore.

The success of the first installment of the Fantastic Beasts film series, which won an Oscar, certainly helped to spur the production of the second installment. And ahead of its premiere date, here is everything you need to know about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindelwald release date

Warner Bros announced back in November 2017 that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will open in theaters in the U.S. and the U.K. on November 16, 2018. Warner also released photos of the movie’s cast and logo in November.  The release date for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes two years after the November 2016 premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The movie title and poster

Warner Bros announced the title of the movie as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in November 2017, when it posted an image (see below) that gave fans their first close look at some of the characters in the movie. The characters include young Dumbledore (Jude Law), Newt’s brother Theseus (Callum Turner), and Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Claudia Kim’s character, shown leaning on Credence, is identified as a Maledictus, that is, one who carries a blood curse that will transform her into a beast.

Fantastic Beasts 2: Director and writers

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates, who also directed four previous Harry Potter films, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).

The Fantastic Beasts film series has seen J.K. Rowling, the originator of the Harry Potter franchise, return to a creative role in the Wizarding World franchise. The Fantastic Beast film series introduces J.K. Rowling to screenwriting. It also gives her the opportunity to write the prequel series to her Harry Potter book series, and create a backstory for Albus Dumbledore.

The film is produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

The cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Many fans got a rude shock when Johnny Depp was introduced at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as the actor playing the titular dark wizard Grindelwald. Warner Bros has stuck with its decision to cast Depp as Grindelwald despite the controversy it generated. Many fans were upset that the producers insisted on casting Depp as Grindelwald after Amber Heard, his ex-wife, accused him of domestic violence. Although he only appeared at the end of the first movie, his character Grindelwald will play a central role in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Eddy Redmayne’s eccentric magizoologist,  Newt Scamander, will also return for the highly-anticipated sequel movie.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will introduce Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore. Warner Bros first announced in April 2017 that Law will be cast as Dumbledore in the new movie. Although the character is already well-known to fans of the Harry Potter book and film series as the beloved Hogwarts headmaster, he is new to the Fantastic Beasts film series as he did not appear in the first movie. In Fantastic Beasts 2, we will get to see Dumbledore’s life as a young wizard for the first time.


Law’s Dumbledore is introduced as Hogwarts “Transfiguration professor” in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and although he is a young man, Dumbledore has established himself as a powerful personality in the wizarding world. We know already from the Harry Potter books that he eventually defeated Grindelwald in 1945 and claimed the Elder Wand.

According to executive producer David Heyman, Law was cast as Dumbledore because “he brings that twinkle, mischief, authority, and power, but at the same time brings far more youthful energy to the film.”

Colin Farrell, who played Percival Graves, head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), will not return for Fantastic Beasts 2. His character, Percival Graves, was shockingly revealed to be Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) in disguise at the end of the first movie.

Grindelwald infiltrated MACUSA disguised as Percival Graves, but showed his true form as Depp’s malevolent character at the end of the movie. Grindelewald will try to raise an army of pure-blood wizards to fulfill his ambition to dominate the world of non-magical beings.

Returning cast members from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them include Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, the legilimens (mind-reading) expert. Katherine Waterston returns as Tina Goldstein, Queenie’s older sister who helped Scamander defeat Grindelwald in the first movie, and has now been reinstated as a MACUSA auror.

Ezra Miller will be playing the Obscurial Credence Barebone. Credence did not really die at the end of the first movie, and he will be back in The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Zoe Kravitz will be playing Leta Lestrange, Newt’s old friend at Hogwarts. Dan Fogler will appear as Jacob Kowalski, the baker who had his memories magically wiped out at the end of the first movie, but will likely have them restored. Carmen Ejogo will appear as Seraphina Picquery, the MACUSA president. Kevin Guthrie will reprise his role as Mr. Abernathy.

Leta Lestrange was introduced in the first Fantastic Beasts film as Newt’s close friend, and likely a love interest. Leta will make her first physical appearance in Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald. She will play a prominent role after appearing in the first installment only in Newt’s photograph of her. Although she is supposed to have had a “close relationship” with Newt while they were together at Hogwarts, in The Crimes of Grindelwald, she is engaged to Newt’s brother Theseus (Callum Turner), who heads the British Ministry of Magic’s Auror Office.

New faces include Claudia Kim, who will appear in the movie as a Maledictus suffering from a blood curse that turns her into a beast, probably a snake. Kims’s character is probably the one involved in the Circus Arcanus as a Snake Girl. Ezra Miller’s character Credence will likely also be part of Circus Arcanus alongside Kim’s character.

Brontis Jodorowsky, another new face, will be playing Nicolas Flamel, the alchemist known to fans of the Harry Potter book series as the creator of the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Derek Riddell will play Torquil Travers, while Poppy Corby-Tuech will play Vinda Rosier. Travers and Rosier are the Death Eaters who fought Harry Potter alongside the evil Voldemort in the book series.

William Nadylam will play the role of the wizard Yusuf Kama.

J.K. Rowling confirmed Jessica Williams’ role as Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s Professor Eulalie Hicks in April 2018. Ilvermorny is, of course, the American counterpart to the British Hogwarts.

Pottermore announced an open casting call on June 6, 2017, for teenagers to play young versions of main characters, such as Scamander, Grindelewald, Dumbledore, Lestrange, and a new teenage character called Sebastian.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald plot and storyline

The plot of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up in 1927 from where the first movie left off in 1926. The second movie follows the adventures of the magizoolosigist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), long before Harry Potter’s parents Lily and James were born. In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Scamander has achieved fame in the wizarding world as the author of the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Albus Dumbledore enlists the help of his former student to find and capture Gellert Grindelwald a second time.

Scamander had helped MACUSA to capture Grindelwald in the first movie, but he escaped fron custody and is now trying to recruit pure-blood witches and wizards to help conquer the muggle world. Newt will continue playing the central role in Fantastic Beasts 2, but presumably, as the Fantastic Beasts film series progresses beyond the second installment, Dumbledore will play an increasing role leading to his epic 1945 magical battle with Grindelwald.

Grindewald, the dark and powerful wizard that fans first met in the Harry Potter books, is the main villain in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Grindelwald is in possession of the special wizardry artifact called the Elder Wand. He uses his wizardry powers for evil and causes a lot of pain and suffering until Dumbledore defeated him.

The open casting call for teenagers to play the younger versions of Grindelwald, Scamander, Dumbledore, Leta, and a new teenage character called Sebastian, indicates that the storyline of The Crimes of Grindelwald will explore — likely through flashbacks — the early relationship of the main characters, and possibly how Newt was expelled from Hogwarts. We may also see the events that led to Grindelwald and Dumbledore falling out.

Grindelwald and Dumbledore had once been friends who teamed up to find the Deathly Hallows. J.K. Rowling once revealed that Dumbledore had been infatuated with Grindelwald, but because Grindelwald is a narcissist who only wants to use others for his purposes, their relationship failed.

The trailer for the movie shows Dumbledore looking into the Mirror of Erised and seeing Grindelwald. This is significant because the mirror shows users their greatest heartfelt desire. Rowling’s comments about Dumblebore being infatuated with Grindelwald implied that the Hogwarts professor was gay, but director David Yates  later said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that Dumbledore will not be explicitly portrayed as gay in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Grindelwald and Dumbledore eventually fell out after Dumbledore’s sister Ariana died during a wizarding duel that involved Dumbledore, Grindelwald and Dumbledore’s younger brother, Aberforth. Grindelwald turned to the dark side, and managed to attract loyal followers and henchmen, including the David Sakurai’s sulky character, Krall.

The movie is set mostly in Paris, which explains why Ezra Miller’s Obscurial character, Credence, who played a central role in the first movie, appears in Paris, possibly as part of the Circus Arcanus, with Kim’s maledictus character.

Grindelwald escapes from MACUSA after a confrontation with President Seraphina Picquery, played by Carmen Ejogo. He then returns secretly to recruit other pure-blood wizards to his dark cause. Dumbledore apparently enlists Newt’s help while he is on a book tour in Paris.

A tweet by the official Twitter account of Fantastic Beasts in October 2017 revealed that Newt’s application to the Ministry of Magic to travel is rejected, but he manages to sneak out and travel to Paris.

Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailers and posters

Warner Bros released the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on March 13, 2018, alongside a poster. The trailer teases Scamander in Paris and gives fans their first close look at Law’s Professor Dumbledore at Hogwarts. Part of the film will be set at the school of wizardry, possibly in the form of flashbacks to Newt’s time as Dumbledore’s student. The first trailer also shows a group of men, likely from the Ministry of Magic or MACUSA, seeking Dumbledore and confronting him. They want to know what he’s been up to with Scamander.

We know that Dumbledore is trying to use Scamander to find and arrest Grindelwald a second time, but the Ministry of Magic wants to stop the Hogwarts professor from getting involved in the effort to find Grindelwald.

A second trailer released in July at San Diego Comic-Con also teases Dumbledore’s interaction with his old student Newt at Hogwarts. It shows Dumbledore instructing Newt in Defense Against the Dark Arts skills.

The trailer teases Grindelwald scheming for world domination, and gives viewers a first look at Nicolas Flamel, who appears at the end of the trailer. Flamel will likely play a role helping Newt stop Grindelwald.

The poster for Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald shows Newt and Dumbledore standing together with Deathly Hallows icon in the background.

Fans noticed what they believed to be a plot hole in the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The trailer, which opens with three wizards “apparating” into Hogwarts, raised questions because, according to the Harry Potter books and movies, it is impossible to apparate on Hogwarts grounds.

However, other fans argued that the event might have occurred before Dumbledore became Hogwarts headmaster and made it impossible for witches and wizards to apparate on the school grounds.

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