Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore turns over a new leaf in the battle between dark wizardy and the forces of light.
Mads Mikkelsen takes over from Johnny Depp as the warmongering Grindelwald in the latest Fantastic Beasts instalment. Here's what we spotted in the trailer.
1. We're building towards the pivotal battle between Dumbledore and Grindelwald
The much-publicised shift from Johnny Depp to Mads Mikkelsen (a brilliant casting choice) isn't the only change within the Fantastic Beasts universe. Following the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald, we're now advancing into World War II, and we hope to see the pivotal battle between the dark wizard and his unrequited lover Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) that occurs in 1945.
The notion of past traumas is evident: we get a glimpse of the younger Aberforth Dumbledore (Richard Coyle), now the owner of a Hogsmeade inn, who witnessed the original schism between his brother and Grindelwald. Initially partners, Albus and Grindewald duelled with Aberforth resulting in Ariana Dumbledore's death. Upon realising what sort of a man he was dealing with, Albus later fought Grindelwald for possession of the Elder Wand.
The latter wants to develop a 'pure blood' order of wizards only, and muggles are in danger. Dumbledore must team up with his former student turned magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to stop Grindelwald.
2. Grindelwald's plan starts to come together
Using his wand, Grindelwald removes memories from the mind of Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam who plays the man who was trying to kill Ezra Miller's Credence when he thought he was Corvus Lestrange V, now an ally to Newt). "Grindelwald is pulling it apart with hate," says Albus, signalling an escalation in the stakes that no doubt points towards their era-defining World War II conflict.
We're really excited to see Mads Mikkelsen in the role of Newt and Dumbledore's nemesis. He's got a captivating, unreadable quality to him that is especially well served in villainous roles – we're thinking his delectable Hannibal Lecter in the sadly cancelled TV series Hannibal, or his subtly scheming Bond villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. Yet, Mikkelsen is an actor of depth who can extract humanity from apparently flawed individuals, as his performances in The Hunt and Another Round attest. If anyone can bring grace notes of pathos to the otherwise diabolical Grindelwald, and perhaps suggest the betrayal he feels over Dumbledore's actions, then Mikkelsen is that actor.
3. Several familiar faces are returning
Among them: Newt's brother Theseus (Callum Turner), whom we first met in The Crimes of Grindelwald, Jessica Hicks as Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, who is a professor of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Dan Fogler as Jacob, the No-Maj who is in love with the witch Queenie (Alison Sudol), who joined Team Grindelwald at the close of the last movie. We're also going to be reunited with Victoria Yeates as Bunty, who harbours a serious crush on Newt.
One question remains, however: where is Katherine Waterston's Tina? Her relationship with Newt has been at the centre of the franchise thus far, and it seems odd that the trailer would leave her out altogether. We know she's serving in MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), and is due to become Newt's wife, so we can only imagine that the trailer is deliberately withholding some majorly exciting sequences involving her character.
4. Jacob puts the maj in no-maj
Dan Fogler's enjoyably relatable muggle finally, finally gets to play with the big boys in the third Fantastic Beasts movie. At the end of the trailer, he's sat down at the Hogwarts banquet table trying to dissuade a group of Ravenclaw students (at least, we assume so from their robes) from trying to cast spells with his new toy.
But what's happening with Jacob and Queenie? The former was understandably betrayed by Queenie's actions at the end of the last movie, and yet in this trailer, there's a brief shot of them hugging. Does Queenie renege on her loyalty to Grindelwald and again join the side of the good guys?
5. There are more fantastic beasts on display
Newt and Theseus must adopt a shuffling pose to make their way past a group of blast-ended screwts, scorpion-like creatures bred by Harry Potter's eventual mentor Rubius Hagrid. The little blighters, however, are not the problem: it's the oversized one with the long tail that poses the real threat.
They first appeared on the big screen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and in the books, were described by Harry thusly: "They looked like deformed, shell-less lobsters, horribly pale and slimy-looking, with legs sticking out in very odd places and no visible heads. There were about a hundred of them in each crate, each about six inches long, crawling over one another, bumping blindly into the sides of the boxes. They were giving off a very powerful smell of rotting fish. Every now and then, sparks would fly out of the end of a skrewt, and with a small phut, it would be propelled forward several inches." Lovely stuff.
6. We appear to be travelling to new locations
The presence of a magical Tibetan prayer wheel may indicate that at least part of the story is set in or around the Himalayas. Tibet has been mentioned on and off throughout the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, and it has its own place in the wizarding lore. According to Harry Potter Wiki: "The yeti was native to the mountains of Tibet. The creature was frequently sighted by Muggles, and, as a result, Tibet was one of the major offenders in terms of breaches of Clause 73 of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. An International Task Force was permanently stationed in the Tibetan mountains to try to contain the problem."
Does this mean that we'll be glimpsing both yetis and the International Task Force in the new Fantastic Beasts movie?
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is released in Cineworld cinemas on 8th April 2022. What did you spot in the trailer that we missed? Let us know @Cineworld.