Warner Bros. dropped the first official trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, aka the sequel to the first Harry Potter spinoff. The trailer drops us back into the story of Newt Scamander, a former Hufflepuff and student of Dumbledore who is working to halt the rise of Grindelwald in the early 20th century.
While the first film in the franchise took place in New York City, and split its focus between the magical creatures Newt is looking to keep safe and the rise of magical fascism, the sequel looks like it’s going to keep its thematic focus on the latter. The trailer highlight a younger Albus Dumbledore’s (Jude Law) role in the coming fight against Grindelwald.
Here are some of the major things we learned in the first trailer…
We will return to Hogwarts.
One of the major changes from the Harry Potter series to the Fantastic Beasts franchise was the lack of Hogwarts in the latter. This doesn’t seem to be the case in The Crimes of Grindelwald, as the trailer begins when what looks like some members of the Ministry of Magic go to Hogwarts to confront Professor Dumbledore about his former student Newt. Most likely, most of the film will take place away from Hogwarts, but it’s nice to tangibly connect these two worlds in this way.
Newt Scamander is headed to Paris.
We already knew that at least part of The Crimes of Grindelwald would be taking place in Paris, but now we know why Newt heads to the city. In the trailer, we see him piecing together a ripped postcard from Paris. Who could it be from? Tina, perhaps? Or maybe Newt’s former crush Leta Lestrange (featured elsewhere in the trailer)? Or is that postcard even for Newt? He doesn’t seem like the type to rip things up in fits of passion, but you never know…
The Deluminator is back!
It’s actually pretty cool to see someone (perhaps Newt, perhaps Dumbledore?) using the Deluminator first introduced at the very beginning of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone. It is used to steal the lights from lampposts before redepositing it later. Dumbledore has it at the beginning of the Harry Potter series, then gifts it to Ron upon his death (um, spoilers?). If Dumbledore gives it to Newt, it is a sure sign that Newt is working per Dumbledore’s orders, as the Ministry suspects.
Tina, Queenie, and Jacob are back!
I mean, we knew Tina, Queenie, and Jacob would be back, but seeing them in the flesh is still lovely. It’s especially nice to see Jacob because a) unlike Tina or Queenie, he actually gets a line (I see you, WB) and b) he is interacting with Newt, which implies he remembers everything from their first adventure together, despite the magically-induced amnesia he catches at the end of the first film.
There are at least two people of color in this movie.
This might be an improvement upon the first movie which, although being set in early 20th-century NYC, was mostly white. In the trailer, we see both Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange and William Nadylam, a French actor who will portray Yusuf Kama in the film.
Credence Clearwater survived.
Again, this is something we assumed, given that Ezra Miller is in this movie, but we get to see a bit more of his character in the trailer. There is a shot of someone, presumably Credence, on a Parisian rooftop (did he send that postcard?), releasing what looks like a bit of his obscurial presence into the atmosphere. He is with a woman, so I guess he’s making friends? Later, we get a clearer shot of him looking totally corporeally as he angrily smashes a cage of magical creatures. So, this kid hasn’t gotten a therapist yet, then?
Is that a merperson?
There are tons of sneak peeks at the magical creatures to be featured in the film (and surely a listicle somewhere written by someone who cares more about these things than I do), but one creature that caught my eye was a water-based one seen being ridden underwater by a child. Who’s the kid? Young Newt, perhaps. (I do love a good flashback!) And is that a merperson, or something else? Talk to me, fans of magical creatures.
We’re going to the circus.
This isn’t really plot-notable, but the trailer features some clips of a magical circus that are definitely visually-notable. It’s like a cross between Paddington 2 and Miss Peregrine, and it looks wonderful. (Also, this is where Yusuf seems to be.)
The return of Pickett.
I know, I know. I just said I don’t care that much about the magical creatures in this thing, but Pickett isn’t a fantastic beast; he’s a character in his own right. The stick-bug creature was Newt’s constant companion in the first film, and one of the creatures that stood out in a film that felt littered with more future action figures than it did successful story elements. Pickett gets his own hero shot in the trailer, running maniacally and adorably across a hardwood floor like he’s been watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on repeat and been instructed to channel Baby Groot like his future job depends on it.
“I can’t move against Grindelwald.”
Dumbledore tells Newt that he’s going to have to be the one who moves against Grindelwald because Albus just can’t do it. I want to believe that this is because Albus is too emotionally involved to move against his ex-best friend/possibly lover, but, given interviews the director has done in relation to this issue, maybe there is a more logistical reason for this?
Johnny Depp is there, too.
Yep, he’s still in this movie.
What were the major things you noticed about the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer? Sound off in the comments below.