March 13, 2018
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Trailer Breakdown: The Wizarding World Gears Up for War
Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. So nothing feels more comforting than seeing Hogwarts for the first time in the Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts.
But Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the new five-movie franchise (out November 16, 2018), only gives us a fleeting glimpse of Hogwarts before whisking off on more globe-trotting adventures. This time: Paris. The metropolitan capital of France will be the battleground for the oncoming war against the dark wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), which will be fought by our intrepid hero Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and a young, hot Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).
Join us on our frame-by-frame breakdown of the first Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer.
First, I just wanted to point out that Fantastic Beasts has a new logo. The logo is a wonderfully vague “Wizarding World,” which probably means it will fold in all Harry Potter-related content in the future.
There you are, you beloved Scottish castle. But something is a little off, even as the sweeping shot of the familiar school grounds evoke a feeling of warmth. It’s — hey! Those people are Apparating on school grounds! We know for security reasons that no one can Apparate or Disapparate on Hogwarts grounds — with the exception of Dumbledore and house elves. Is this an innocent overlook of Harry Potter canon on the part of director David Yates? Or is this because Fantastic Beasts takes place 70 years before Harry Potter and perhaps the dire reason for this security measure has not yet taken place? It could be either-or — though to be fair, it does look pretty cool.
At first glance, this seems like a simple continuation of the last shot, but the woman in the bright purple dress draws my eye. Why? It’s the same outfit worn by Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz) in our first look of The Crimes of Grindelwald, presumably with her fiance Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) beside her. Yes, Leta, who was Newt’s childhood love, is engaged to Newt’s brother — the head of the Auror office at the Ministry of Magic.
We don’t know her job, though we can assume she works for the Ministry of Magic, who arrive at Hogwarts to interrogate Albus Dumbledore about Newt Scamander’s whereabouts.
“I have some questions for you, professor,” a man drawls to Albus Dumbledore, still a professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts. But this shot is off-putting. The group interrogating Dumbledore about Newt Scamander’s whereabouts is not the same one that walked into Hogwarts in the last shot. Leta Lestrange and her bright purple dress are nowhere to be seen, and the group looks even larger. Are they both from the Ministry of Magic?
Newt repairs a teared up postcard that comes from Paris. A message from Dumbledore perhaps? And who tore it up to begin with?
Another familiar sight: a mysterious, shadowed being using the Deluminator, the magical device that can remove all light sources nearby. For years it belonged to Dumbledore, until he passed it on to Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So we can assume that this is Dumbledore going incognito to meet Newt. It feels like a fitting introduction — the very first scene in Harry Potter was Dumbledore pulling out the Deluminator, after all.
Before Newt jets off to Paris, we see him first in London — as evidenced by the red telephone booth and the London postcode on the sign behind him. And who does he spot?
Dumbledore! This flies in the face of Dumbledore’s casual denial of secretly working with Newt.
The two of them have a clandestine meeting on the roofs of London. Newt looks characteristically nervous while the young Dumbledore laughs charmingly.
“I know he’s working under your orders,” the Ministry official says sternly to Dumbledore. “What do you have to say for yourself, Dumbledore?”
The official is played by Derek Riddel, who was cast as Torquil Travers. The name sound familiar? Travers was the surname of a Death Eater in the Harry Potter series — which makes this official a distant relative of one of the minions of Voldemort. That suddenly gives a much more sinister tone to his veiled threats to Dumbledore, and begs the question of whether Grindelwald has allies planted in the Ministry of Magic.
First, I want to know when Dumbledore traded in his snazzy suits for the serious cloaks and robes that he wears as an older man. I hope it’s not anytime soon, because damn, can he wear a three-piece suit. Law is playing Dumbledore with a sort of easy sensuality, which makes him the scene-stealer of this trailer. But his motives are a little more uncertain: Why does he charge Newt with going up against Grindelwald but not fight him himself?
Our first glimpse at the titular Grindelwald in the trailer is a fleeting image of his back. He stands on a stage (at trial?) with his ally Vinda Rosier (Poppy Corby-Tuech).
Wearing a darker bob and a darker coat, Tina Goldstein is back. We last left her at the docks of New York City, where she bid Newt goodbye and made him promise to send her his book.
In this trailer, Tina appears to be attempting to be discreet, sneaking about London or Paris. Judging by the statues behind her, she may be near where Newt and Dumbledore first meet.
Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) has returned! Despite having his memory erased at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, our favorite New Yorker No-Maj is back. He seems just as confused as he was before he discovered magic, so this may show Jacob on the cusp of regaining his memories.
Newt seems to have no qualms about throwing Jacob back into the fray with his animals and his new mission. The two of them pack up to go to Paris, in a hurry and soaking wet for some reason.
Speaking of returns, here we get a glimpse of Credence (Ezra Miller) learning to control his Obscurial powers. He appeared to have died at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but he is quite alive in the sequel. Not only has he gained control of his destructive powers, he has also gained a new friend, a Maledictus witch played by Claudia Kim. A Maledictus is a person whose blood was cursed, leading them to turn into a beast. Credence and the witch seem to have found kindred spirits in each other.
Here we get our first look at the Paris Ministry of Magic, constructed to look like a series of glass domes. It actually calls to mind the Louvre, the famous French museum that features a beautiful glass pyramid.
And in the French Ministry of Magic, we see Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) snooping around. Queenie proved to be a perfect ally to Newt for espionage work, using her natural power of Legilimens to read minds.
Here we have a beautiful shot of an ethereal dance performance at a ball. It seems to have little to do with the film — except for one of the party attendees.
Leta Lestrange! We get our first full shot of Leta Lestrange in party garb, admiring the performance before shifting her eyes. No wonder she seems suspicious: Leta hails from the Lestrange family, an ancient pure-blood family that looks down on Muggle-born and half-blood witches and wizards. Because of that, they practice inter-marriage within a small pool of elite pure-bloods. Many of the pure-blood families would end up allying with Voldemort decades later in his attempt to rid the world of half-bloods — including Leta’s descendent, Bellatrix Lestrange.
But Leta may be bucking the trend, currently engaged to Thesus Scamander, a wizard with questionable blood status. And she has a past with Newt, who still harbors feelings of love for her, keeping her picture in his case.
Speaking of the Lestrange’s, her we see a mysterious wall with glowing scribbles and graphs drawn all over it. The largest text on the wall reads ” Corvus Lestrange.” A family tree? A sinister scheme? It’s difficult to tell. More difficult to tell is the person looking at the wall, but from his silhouette, I would guess Dumbledore.
An enchanted circus in Paris shows children gleefully floating in giant bubbles, and attendees excitedly crowding inside to glimpse the latest beastly attraction. No doubt this will draw the attention of the achingly sympathetic Newt, who will probably try to release the creatures.
Not Newt, but new wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam) has appeared at the circus, concerned over whatever is caged there. We know nothing about Yusuf Kama, but we can assume he is one of the good guys who potentially allies himself with Newt.
This isn’t all that important of a shot but Pickett is back! And he’s still adorable! The mischevious Bowtruckle almost escapes from Newt’s care again, but is quickly caught. He’s just here to be cute and remind you that this movie is still about beasts.
Two flamboyantly sinister henchman drive a carriage pulled by thestrals into a stormy night sky, followed by two wizards on broomstick. Thestrals are by no means evil — though their bony, black form certainly look scary — having once been used by Harry and his friends to fly from Hogwarts. But here they are used for evil means, as part of Grindelwald’s escape.
Another unexpected surprise: It’s not Newt who frees the caged creatures at the circus, but Credence. He seems to have found his way to Paris and gotten himself a haircut.
We cut immediately to this devastating wreckage — but is that Grindelwald down there in the building, or Credence unable to control his Obscurial powers still?
And here we have our first full shot of Grindelwald. It’s curious that the title character — even if he is the villain — has remained out of the spotlight for much of the trailer, but it may have to do with the controversy surrounding the retention of Depp. This scene appears to be a flashback, showing a long-haired Grindelwald being arrested. Or it could be that a decent amout of time has passed since he was arrested and his hair and beard have grown while imprisoned.
“I can’t move against Grindelwald. It has to be you,” Dumbledore tells Newt. This gives credence (heh) to the theory that the Ministry has been compromised, and that Dumbledore is under careful watch from his enemies.
At last we see Newt in action — something that rarely happened in the last film. Newt is generally a soft-spoken, pacifist wizard, preferring his creatures over human beings. While he will leap into action to contain vicious beasts, he would never exchange blows with someone — as opposed to his hyper-masculine war hero brother Theseus, who stands beside him here. But despite tension between the two of them, they seem to have teamed up against some nameless threat.
In a very cool shot, both Newt and Thesus bring their wands crashing down to the ground, creating this bright stream of red light that seems to act as a barrier of sorts.
In a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, wisps of magical smoke briefly form the shape of the Deathly Hallows. The Deathly Hallows were three items that were thought to bring the owner immortality and immense power. The search for the legendary Deathly Hallows was what first united Grindelwald and Dumbledore, two old friends (and possible lovers) who beloved in their existence. But the quest is what ultimately tore them apart, as Grindelwald slowly revealed that he dreamed of acquiring the Deathly Hallows to rule over the Muggles.
The Hallows were never once mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but with Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s conflict taking center stage of the action in this sequel, it’s inevitable that we’d return to them. Harry Potter would eventually end up the owner of all three — throwing them away before we saw the full extent of their power. But this ominous image hints that we could see the Deathly Hallows again.