Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling. A joint American and British production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). It is the second installment 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|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Yates|
|Written by||J. K. Rowling|
by J. K. Rowling
|Music by||James Newton Howard|
|Edited by||Mark Day|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$654.9 million|
A second Fantastic Beasts film was announced in October 2014, and in July 2016 Rowling confirmed she had completed the script. Depp was cast in November 2016, causing some controversy due to domestic violence allegations recently made against him, and Law signed on in April 2017. Principal photography began in July 2017, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England. Filming also took place in London, Switzerland, and Paris, and wrapped in December 2017.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiered in Paris on 8 November 2018 and was released worldwide on 16 November 2018, in RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX 3D, 4DX, IMAX, and ScreenX Formats, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film grossed over $654 million worldwide, becoming the tenth highest-grossing film of 2018, but also the lowest-grossing installment of the Wizarding World franchise. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its entertainment value, as well as the direction and performances (particularly from Law and Depp), but also criticised the "needlessly complicated, low-stakes plot," while feeling that it was "overburdened" with details setting up future sequels.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was nominated for two awards at the 72nd British Academy Film Awards in the categories of Best Production Design and Best Special Visual Effects. An untitled third film is scheduled for release on 12 November 2021.
In 1927, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) is transferring the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) to Europe to be tried for his crimes. Grindelwald escapes, aided by MACUSA employee Abernathy (Kevin Guthrie).
Three months later in London, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is at the Ministry of Magic to appeal his international travel ban. While there, he runs into Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz), an old Hogwarts classmate and the fiancée of his auror brother Theseus (Callum Turner). The ministry agree to grant Newt's request if he aids Theseus in locating Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) in Paris. Newt declines after learning he must work with the ruthless bounty hunter Gunnar Grimmson. Later, after being reprimanded by the Ministry for his recent actions, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) meets with Newt and is revealed to have indirectly sent him to America to release Frank the Thunderbird. Dumbledore requests that Newt travel to Paris and save Credence from Grindelwald and the Ministry; he believes he is Leta's long-lost half-brother, Corvus Lestrange.
Later, Newt is unexpectedly visited by his American friends Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Jacob, a Muggle, has regained his memories that were erased in the previous film. Newt is disappointed that Queenie's sister Tina is not with them; Queenie tells him that Tina is seeing someone after reading in Spellbound magazine that Newt and Leta were engaged. Newt explains that Leta is marrying Theseus, not him. Newt deduces from Jacob's strange behaviour that Queenie enchanted him into eloping to circumvent MACUSA's marriage ban between wizards and non-magical humans. After Newt lifts the enchantment, Jacob refuses to marry Queenie, fearing the consequences she would face. Upset, Queenie leaves to find Tina. Newt and Jacob follow her to Paris where Tina is looking for Credence.
In Paris, Tina searches for Credence at the Circus Arcanus. Credence and a captive circus performer named Nagini escape after causing a distraction. While searching for Credence's birth mother, they locate a half-elf servant named Irma Dugard, who brought him to America for adoption. However, Grimmson, revealed to be a follower of Grindelwald, arrives and kills Irma. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf Kama, who is also hunting Credence. Newt and Jacob follow Yusuf to Tina, only to find her being held hostage. Yusuf disarms Newt and imprisons him and Jacob along with her, explaining that he made an Unbreakable Vow to kill his half-brother, whom he believes to be Credence. Meanwhile, unable to find Tina, a distraught Queenie is found by a Grindelwald devotee and brought to him. Knowing Queenie's abilities, Grindelwald allows her to leave while manipulating her into joining him using her desire to marry Jacob.
Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic for documents to confirm Credence's identity, but Leta and Theseus discover them. Newt and Tina reconcile after he explains he was never engaged to Leta. Their search for information about Credence leads them to the Lestrange family tomb, where they find Yusuf. He reveals that he is carrying out his father Mustafa's request to avenge his mother Laurena's death. She was kidnapped by Corvus Lestrange IV using the Imperius Curse, and later died giving birth to Yusuf's half-sister, Leta. Leta reveals that Credence cannot be Corvus as she unintentionally caused his death; while aboard a ship to America, Leta, unable to stand his constant crying, switched her baby brother with another infant (Credence) shortly before the ship sank. Corvus drowned while Credence survived.
The group follow a trail to a rally for Grindelwald's followers, where Queenie is among the attendants and Jacob is looking for her. There, Grindelwald shows images of a future global war, and rails against the laws prohibiting them from preventing such a tragedy. As Theseus and the Aurors surround the rally, Grindelwald prompts his followers to spread his message across Europe, and conjures a ring of blue fire that kills the retreating Aurors and that only his most loyal followers can safely cross. Queenie and Credence both cross the fire. Leta sacrifices herself to hold off Grindelwald so Newt, Tina, Jacob, Yusuf, Nagini, and Theseus can escape. As Grindelwald leaves, the remaining heroes unite alongside the immortal alchemist Nicolas Flamel to subdue and extinguish the fire. Newt realises he is now embroiled in a conflict with Grindelwald, and chooses to fight.
At Hogwarts, Newt presents Dumbledore with a vial stolen from Grindelwald, by his niffler. It contains a blood pact Grindelwald and Dumbledore made during their youth that prevents them dueling each other. Dumbledore believes it can be destroyed. At his base in Austria, Nurmengard, Grindelwald tells Credence that his true identity is Aurelius Dumbledore, Albus' long-lost brother, by presenting him a wand and narrating the legend saying that a phoenix will appear to any Dumbledore in time of need, which did come to Credence and then Grindelwald told that he, Credence, now Aurelius Dumbledore is the only person powerful enough to defeat him. Credence then does magic with his first wand.
- 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 confidant 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.
- Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein:
- 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.
- Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski:
- 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.
- Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein:
- 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 wizarding laws forbidding relationships with No-Majs.
- Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone:
- The disturbed adopted child of Mary-Lou Barebone, severely abused and downtrodden. Enraged by people's treatment of him, during the incident of 1926 he set his Obscurus parasite loose on the City of New York, causing widespread destruction. He survived in a tiny Obscurus fragment, and is now sought by Grindelwald.
- Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange:
- An emotionally damaged and confused young woman who still exerts some control over Newt, who was once in love with her, and possibly still is. Ostracized while a fellow Hogwarts student, she was befriended by a young Newt. She is descended from a historically wealthy, pureblood family infamous for embracing the Dark Arts. She 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. Thea Lamb and Ruby Woolfenden both portray young versions of Leta.
- Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander:
- Newt Scamander's older brother who works 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 their disparate personalities and beliefs. He spent the previous year hunting Grindelwald with a team of British Aurors. Theseus is currently engaged to Leta Lestrange.
- The main attraction of a wizarding circus and freak show called Circus Arcanus and a Maledictus, who carries a blood curse that will eventually transform her into a snake permanently. For as long as she can remember, Skender has exploited her transformative powers. Nagini befriends Credence Barebone, who works as a menial worker at the circus. Nagini will eventually become the infamous companion of Lord Voldemort.
- William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama:
- A French-Senegalese wizard who has spent many years obsessively searching for Credence and has finally tracked him down in Paris at Circus Arcanus. Isaac Domingos portrays a young Yusuf.
- Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy:
- Tina and Queenie's previous MACUSA supervisor, now a loyal follower of Grindelwald.
- 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 brilliance, currently a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As a teenager, he and Grindelwald had become "closer than brothers". 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 a young Dumbledore.
- An infamous powerful dark wizard who caused mass violence, terror and chaos around the globe, seeking to lead a new Wizarding World Order based on his strong belief in wizarding superiority. As a teenager, he and Dumbledore had become friends. Escapes from the MACUSA in New York and renews his efforts for Pureblood world domination. 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." Jamie Campbell Bower reprises his role from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 as a young Grindelwald.
Carmen Ejogo briefly reprises her role as Seraphina Picquery, the President of MACUSA, from the first film. Brontis Jodorowsky portrays Nicolas Flamel, a 14th-century, 600-year-old Parisian scribe and alchemist believed to have discovered the Philosopher's Stone, who is a friend and colleague of Dumbledore. The character was mentioned previously in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Fiona Glascott portrays a young Minerva McGonagall. Poppy Corby-Tuech portrays Vinda Rosier, Grindelwald's loyal right-hand follower. Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson portrays Grimmson, a powerful bounty hunter. Ólafur Darri Ólafsson portrays Skender, the cruel head and ringmaster of Circus Arcanus. David Sakurai appears as Krall, Grindelwald's ambitious and sulky henchman. Victoria Yeates portrays Bunty, Newt Scamander's assistant. Jessica Williams portrays Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, a professor of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who contacts Flamel. Isaura Barbé-Brown portrays Laurena Kama, Leta Lestrange's mother. Derek Riddell, Wolf Roth and Cornell John portray Torquil Travers, Spielman and Arnold Guzman, respectively. Keith Chanter plays Corvus Lestrange IV, Corvus V's father.
In October 2014, Warner Bros. Pictures announced the film as "at least" a trilogy with the first installment set to be released on 18 November 2016 followed by the second installment on 16 November 2018 and the third installment on 20 November 2020. David Yates was confirmed to direct at least the first installment of the series.
In July 2016, Yates confirmed that J. K. Rowling had written the screenplay for the second film and had ideas for the third. 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."
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. Yates would also return to direct the sequel with producers Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram.
On 1 November 2016, Deadline Hollywood reported that Johnny Depp had been cast in the film. Depp's casting received criticism from some fans, due to domestic violence allegations against him. In December 2017, J. K. Rowling posted on her website that she would not recast the role 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." About Rowling's response, Depp said in 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."
Jude Law was cast as Albus Dumbledore after director David Yates decided that the character should be played by a younger actor, not Michael Gambon (who played the role in six of the Harry Potter films). Many other actors were considered for the role, including Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and Jared Harris (son of Richard Harris, who played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films).
The film is set in the UK and Paris. Principal photography began on 3 July 2017, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in Hertfordshire, England, where a part of Paris was built for the purpose including streets, alleys and a square. The New York set from the first film was built in exactly the same spot. On 22 September 2017, David Sakurai was cast to play Krall, one of the ambitious and sulky henchman of Grindelwald. Law reportedly finished filming his scenes as Dumbledore in September 2017. On 5 October 2017, several other castings were announced, including Brontis Jodorowsky as Nicolas Flamel and Jessica Williams joining in an undisclosed role. Principal photography wrapped on 20 December 2017.
The visual effects were provided by DNEG (Double Negative), Framestore, Method Studios, Image Engine, Milk VFX, Rodeo FX, Nzivage, Proof, The Third Floor, Inc. and Lola Visual Effects with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) doing the concept design and development and The Visual Effects Company doing the motion capture for film.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had its world premiere at the UGC Ciné Cité Bercy in Paris on 8 November 2018. It was released worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures on 16 November 2018 in IMAX 3D, RealD 3D, Dolby Cinema, IMAX, 4DX, and ScreenX.
As with the previous Fantastic Beasts film, the screenplay by J. K. Rowling was released as a book shortly after the premiere.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald grossed $160 million in the United States and Canada, and $495 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $655 million, against a production budget of $200 million. It is the lowest-grossing Wizarding World installment to-date.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Instant Family and Widows, and was projected to gross $65–75 million from 4,163 theatres in its opening weekend. The film made $25.7 million on its first day, including $9.1 million from Thursday night previews, an improvement over the first film's $8.75 million. It went on to debut to $63 million over the weekend, a 16% drop from the first Fantastic Beasts' $74 million, and marking the lowest opening for a film in the Wizarding World franchise. Deadline Hollywood noted that mixed critical reviews and current competition in theaters likely hurt the opening weekend figures. In its second weekend the film dropped 52% to $29.4 million (including $42.9 million over the five-day Thanksgiving frame), finishing fourth. In its third weekend the film made $11.4 million, remaining in fourth.
Internationally, the film was expected to gross an additional $188–205 million from 79 countries, for a global debut of about $250 million. It made $10.1 million on its first day of release from 10 countries, including $2.6 million in France and $2 million in South Korea. On its second day of release the film began to play in 45 other countries and made another $18.4 million, for a two-day gross of $31 million. It also made $12.8 million on its first day in China, the best of any Wizarding World film in the country. It went on to have an international debut of $191 million, for a global total of $253.2 million, a 2.7% improvement over the first film's debut. Its largest markets were China ($37.5 million), the UK ($16.3 million, or £12.7 million) and Germany ($12.8 million). In several countries it had the best-ever opening for a Wizarding World film, including Russia, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil.
On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 36% based on 314 reviews, with an average rating of 5.28/10. 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." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 52 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". It is the lowest-rated Wizarding World film on both websites. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the lowest of the franchise, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 83% positive score and a 69% "definite recommend"; social media monitor RelishMix noted online responses to the film were "mixed".
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." Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw gave the film 3/5 stars, praising Law and Depp's performances, but criticising 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.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 5, 2019||Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature||Dominik Kirouac, Chloe Ostiguy, Christian Gaumond||Nominated|||
|British Academy Film Awards||February 10, 2019||Best Production Design||Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock||Nominated|||
|Best Special Visual Effects||Tim Burke, Andy Kind, Christian Manz, and David Watkins||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||September 13, 2019||Best Fantasy Film||Nominated|||
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. The third film is set to be released on 12 November 2021. In October 2016, Rowling stated that the series would be composed of five films. In October 2019, Dan Fogler said that the third film will be filmed in February 2020. In November 2019, it was announced that the screenplay was written by J. K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, who returns after being absent as a writer on the first two movies. The third film is said to take place in the 1930s, with locations speculated to consist of Berlin, Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
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