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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates, with a screenplay by J. K. Rowling. A joint British and American production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). It is the second instalment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin Guthrie, Jude Law, and Johnny Depp. The plot follows Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledore as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, while facing new threats in a more divided wizarding world.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Yates
Produced by
Written byJ. K. Rowling
Based onCharacters
by J. K. Rowling
Starring
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyPhilippe Rousselot
Edited byMark Day
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 8 November 2018 (2018-11-08) (Paris)
  • 16 November 2018 (2018-11-16) (United Kingdom and United States)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$200 million[2]

Principal photography for the film began at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden London in July 2017. Filming also took place in England, including London, Switzerland, and Paris. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiered in Paris on 8 November 2018 and is scheduled to be released worldwide on 16 November 2018, in Real D 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its entertainment value as well as Law and Depp's performances, but criticized the "needlessly complicated, low-stakes plot".[3]

Contents

Premise

At the end of the first film, the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody again and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards and witches up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald's plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

Cast

 
Cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. From left to right: Eddie Redmayne, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston and Jude Law
A British Ministry of Magic employee in the Beasts Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, as well as a self-proclaimed magizoologist. He played a part in remedying the events of a violent attack on the City of New York in December 1926 involving dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. He is a confidante of Albus Dumbledore, despite being an outcast from certain circles of British Wizarding society due to his checkered past. Joshua Shea portrays a young Newt.[6]
A promoted MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) Auror. She played a role in thwarting Gellert Grindelwald during the Obscurus incident of 1926, for which she and Newt were initially blamed.[8]
A No-Maj veteran of World War I and current business owner of a bakery, a friend of Newt's, and the primary love interest to Queenie before having his memory obliviated following Grindelwald's attack on New York.
The pretty and vivacious younger sister of Tina, who worked alongside her in the Federal Wand Permit Bureau after Tina was once demoted. She is a powerful natural Legilimens, and has fallen in love with Jacob Kowalski, despite the wizarding world laws (at least in the United States) forbidding the relationship.[8]
The disturbed adopted child of Mary-Lou Barebone, violently abused and downtrodden. Enraged by people's treatment of him and Grindelwald's betrayal, he set his Obscurus parasite loose on the City of New York, causing widespread death and destruction. He was eventually "destroyed" by MACUSA officials, although a tiny Obscurus fragment escaped. Credence now has complete control over his Obscurus.[8]
A damaged and confused young woman who still exerts a large amount of control over Newt, who was at one time in love with her, and possibly still is. Risking the life of a student at school, she is responsible for the outcasting of Newt from some circles of British wizarding society, after he took the blame for her misdemeanor. She is from a historically wealthy and pureblood family famous for the Dark Arts and is currently engaged to Theseus Scamander, Newt's brother, and is now working at the British Ministry of Magic as the assistant to Torquil Travers, the Head of Magical Law Enforcement.[11][8]
The older brother of Newt Scamander, who was involved in the Auror Office of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, fought in World War I, and is described as a "war hero". The two brothers share a tentatively warm relationship, slightly marred by the fact that the two can't quite understand each other. He spent the previous year hunting Grindelwald with a team of British Aurors. He is currently engaged to Leta Lestrange.[11]
The main attraction of a wizarding circus and freak show called Circus Arcanus and a Maledictus, who carries a blood curse that will sooner or later transform her into a snake permanently. For as long as she can remember, her transformative powers have been exploited by Skender. Nagini eventually finds a friend in one of the menial workers there, Credence. She will eventually become the infamous companion of Lord Voldemort, as well as his final Horcrux.[14][15][8]
  • William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama: A French-African wizard who has spent many years obsessively searching for Credence and has finally tracked him down in Paris at Circus Arcanus.[14][8]
  • Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy: Tina and Queenie's previous MACUSA supervisor who helps Grindelwald to escape from MACUSA.[14]
  • Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore:[16][7][17]
An extremely influential and powerful wizard in the British Wizarding Community, known in the British Ministry of Magic and throughout the wider wizarding world for his academic excellence, currently a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts[8] at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He had a summer-long, mysterious relationship with Grindelwald, which ended on a tragic note. A strong ally of Newt Scamander's, he is called to resist Grindelwald's reign of terror. Toby Regbo reprises his role from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 as young Dumbledore.[18]
An infamous powerful dark wizard who caused mass violence, terror and chaos around the globe, seeking to lead a new Wizarding World Order, with a strong belief in wizarding superiority. He shared a summer-long, deep, and mysterious relationship with Albus Dumbledore as a teenager, until tragedy struck. He wreaked havoc across Europe before being captured by MACUSA in New York.[8] It was Depp's idea for the character's heterochromia, saying that he saw Grindelwald as "more than one... almost as though he was two people."[21] Jamie Campbell Bower reprises his role from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 as young Grindelwald.[22][18]

Carmen Ejogo reprises her role as Seraphina Picquery, the President of MACUSA, from the first film.[23] Poppy Corby-Tuech portrays Vinda Rosier, Grindelwald's loyal right-hand follower.[23] Brontis Jodorowsky portrays Nicolas Flamel, a 14th-century, 600-year-old Parisian scribe and alchemist believed to have discovered the Philosopher's Stone, and a friend and colleague of Dumbledore; he was mentioned previously in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.[23][24] Ólafur Darri Ólafsson portrays Skender, the cruel head and ringmaster of Circus Arcanus.[23] Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson portrays Grimmson, a powerful bounty hunter. David Sakurai appears as Krall, Grindelwald's ambitious and sulky henchman.[25] Isaura Barbé-Brown portrays Laurena Kama, Leta Lestrange's mother.[26] Victoria Yeates portrays Bunty, Newt Scamander's assistant.[27] Jessica Williams portrays Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, a professor of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Derek Riddell, Wolf Roth and Cornell John portray Torquil Travers, Spielman and Arnold Guzman, respectively.[15]

Production

Development

In October 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures announced the film as "at least" a trilogy with the first instalment set to be released on 18 November 2016 followed by the second instalment on 16 November 2018 and the third instalment on 20 November 2020. David Yates was confirmed to direct at least the first instalment of the series.[28][29]

In July 2016, Yates confirmed that J. K. Rowling had written the screenplay for the second film and had ideas for the third.[30] Yates talked to Entertainment Weekly about the second film, saying "we've seen the script for Part 2, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction – as you should, you don’t want to repeat yourself. The second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It's a very interesting development from where we start out. The work is pouring out of her."[31] In October 2016, it was reported that the Fantastic Beasts film series would comprise five films, with the second film setting in another global capital city, and Eddie Redmayne would be returning to all films to play the lead role of Newt Scamander.[5] Yates would also return to direct the sequel with producers Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram.[5]

Pre-production

 
The casting of Johnny Depp (pictured in character as Gellert Grindelwald) received criticism from some fans

On 1 November 2016, Deadline Hollywood reported that Johnny Depp had been cast in the film.[19][20] Depp's casting received criticism by some fans, based on his previous involvement in domestic violence allegations.[32][33] On December 2017, J. K. Rowling posted on her website that she would not reconsider recasting because Depp and his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, had previously expressed hope that the mutual agreement would enable both to move on from the controversy and that "the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."[34] About Rowling's response, Depp said on October 2018, "I'll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused... J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that's why she has publicly supported me. She doesn't take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that's really it."[21]

Jude Law was cast as Albus Dumbledore after director David Yates decided that the role should be played by a younger actor, not Michael Gambon (who played the role in six of the Harry Potter films).[17][20] A number of other actors were considered, including Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and Jared Harris (son of Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films).[16]

Filming

The film is set in the United Kingdom and Paris.[20] Principal photography began on 3 July 2017, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden.[14][35] On 22 September 2017, David Sakurai was cast to play Krall, one of the ambitious and sulky henchman of Grindelwald.[25] Law reportedly finished filming his scenes as Dumbledore in September 2017.[36] On 5 October 2017, several other castings were announced, including Brontis Jodorowsky as Nicolas Flamel and Jessica Williams joining in an undisclosed role.[37] Principal photography wrapped on 20 December 2017.[38]

Music

James Newton Howard confirmed in November 2016 that he would return to compose the music for the film.[39]

Release

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had its world premiere at the UGC Ciné Cité Bercy in Paris on 8 November 2018. It is scheduled to be released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures on 16 November 2018.[40][41] The film will get an IMAX release.[42]

Reception

Box office projections

In the United States and Canada, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released alongside Instant Family and Widows, and is projected to gross $65–75 million from 3,300 theaters in its opening weekend.[2]

Critical response

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 51% based on 76 reviews, with an average rating of 5.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story's spell isn't as strong as earlier installments."[43] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[44] It is the lowest-rated Wizarding World film on both websites.[45][46]

Andrew Barker of Variety called the film a "cluttered expansion of the Harry Potter franchise" and wrote, "The film throws plenty of plot twists, loud noises, and multihued magical nebulae at us, but rarely is there much tension, or sense of adventure, or any real longing, just the feeling of watching one chess piece after another being moved into position."[47] Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film 3/5 stars, praising Law and Depp's performances, but criticizing the film's excessive plotting, and saying, "This Fantastic Beasts film is as watchable and entertaining as expected... but some of the wonder, novelty and sheer narrative rush of the first film has been mislaid in favour of a more diffuse plot focus, spread out among a bigger ensemble cast."[48] Sarah Murphy of Exclaim noted the film's political relevance, writing, "With the two worlds on the precipice of war, Grindelwald is depicted as a power-hungry populist in an extremely politically divisive time. It's too close to real life to not be terrifying." [49]

Sequels

Initially, in October 2014, the studio announced there would be a Fantastic Beasts trilogy. In July 2016, David Yates confirmed that Rowling had written the screenplay for the second film and had ideas for the third.[50] The third film is set to be released on 20 November 2020.[51][52][53] In October 2016, Rowling stated that the series would be composed of five films.[54]

References

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External links