Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore hits Cineworld cinemas in time for Easter (April 8th, to be exact), and we're delighted to be bringing you the full Wizarding World experience.
Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander teams with Jude Law's Albus Dumbledore to battle the warmongering Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) in this magical expansion of the Harry Potter prequel universe.
We've seen the movie and we're here to tell you why you ought to be very excited for its release. (Don't worry, we've avoided spoilers and stuck to generalities.)
1. It deepens our understanding of Dumbledore
Without giving anything away, we're witnesses to Albus Dumbledore advancing into middle age. Law puts a subtle burr to his line delivery, anticipating the warm tones of the Dumbledore performers in Harry Potter, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon.
More than that, we get a better glimpse of Dumbledore and Grindelwald's blood pact, and how the former's history threatens to leave him emotionally isolated. Rest assured, however, Law's performance is spry and sprightly as we see him leap into action and formulate a plan to thwart Grindelwald's evildoing.
2. It puts the Fantastic Beasts front and centre again
If you felt that Newt's extraordinary charges fell by the wayside somewhat in 2018's The Crimes of Grindelwald, then you'll be delighted by this news. Picket and Teddy the niffler take centre stage in at least one memorable set-piece, and Newt's animalistic coterie expands with one particularly important creature (no spoilers) that powers the entire plot.
3. Jessica Williams steals the show
Introduced in The Crimes of Grindelwald, Williams now steps up and takes more of a central role as American charms professor Eulalie Hicks. Her initial scene with hapless muggle Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler, another scene-stealer) strikes a vivacious and flirtatious note, and Williams' spirited turn is a valued addition to the Fantastic Beasts ranks.
4. Mads Mikkelsen is an excellent upgrade
Johnny Depp is out and Mads Mikkelsen is in, portraying the villainous dark wizard Grindelwald who wants to subjugate and purge the muggles. Mikkelsen has a fascinating face for the screen, a mixture of supercilious, subtly melancholy and menacing, which keeps us guessing as to Grindelwald's thoughts and motivations from scene to scene.
5. James Newton Howard's score is magical
A mainstay of the Fantastic Beasts franchise since the start, Newton Howard deploys a variety of shimmering choral accents and orchestral colours to envelop us in the world of Fantastic Beasts. And yes, Harry Potter fans, there are musical quotations of classic John Williams statements as well...
Are you ready to enter the world? Then click here to book your tickets for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, opening in Cineworld cinemas on April 8th.