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'A story that was only hinted at': How the latest Fantastic Beasts adventure will return to Hogwarts

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits cinemas this weekend.

EVEN THOUGH IT’S been seven years (or one full Hogwarts enrolment), since Harry Potter saved the world from Voldemort, there were many untold tales lurking within the school’s walls that fans didn’t get a chance to hear about.

But in 2016, muggles finally got an opportunity to see the years that led up to that moment, when Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them released. The film earned the franchise its first ever Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 2017.

When we left ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), he’d captured dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Grindelwald then escaped custody and started gathering followers to put pure-blood wizards in power over non-magical beings. And that’s where Fantastic Beasts: The Crime of Grindelwald picks up the story…

And this is where the famous Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) steps in to enlist his former student Newt in order to defeat Grindelwald as the wizarding community increasingly divides, even among friends and family.

maxresdefault (1) Johnny Depp stars as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald Source: YouTube

In the second of five new instalments, JK Rowling acts as both the screenwriter and producer and the crew have won an impressive nine Oscars between them for photography, production design, costume design and visual effects. 

For Rowling, it’s a chance to explore events that were only mentioned during Harry’s time at Hogwarts:

I am telling a story that is only hinted at in the Harry Potter books – the rise of Grindelwald [...] and his antagonist Dumbledore, who of course, is a key figure in the Potter stories.

In fact, dark wizard Grindelwald was originally mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as a mysterious character whose story was entangled with Dumbledore’s. It was one that Rowling was eager to explore:

This was the story I was most interested in revisiting because it’s so crucial to understanding Dumbledore, who is my favourite character.  

And this time around, viewers will get to see a side to the beloved wizard that they haven’t seen before. Jude Law explains:

This is the Dumbledore who is not yet the great Headmaster at Hogwarts. He is closer to the formative, and more traumatic experiences in his life that perhaps colour him [...] and the stories we’re telling will show the evolution of the character.

So, how does it compare to the first Fantastic Beasts film? Director David Yates (who has directed six Wizarding World films) explains that when JK Rowling sent him the script, he was struck by how different it felt to the first:

This story is more layered and more intricate [...] and it’s also a lot darker. But what really blew me away was how she created this feeling of an emotional thriller, with twists and turns I never saw coming. 

Fans can also expect the same fascinating divides in the wizarding community that ran throughout the last two films in the Potter series. Producer David Heyman explains how there is a huge focus on each character ‘choosing to take a side or not’:

There are themes in the film which are [...] along similar lines to Potter – good versus evil, love and loss, friendship and loyalty, identity and feeling outcast…

But the villain in this series is what Yates has called “all the more dangerous” than He Who Shall Not Be Named, as he was known by many in the Potter franchise:

If you disagreed with Voldemort, he would kill you in an instant. [...] Whereas Voldemort was something of a thug, Grindelwald is a much more sophisticated player.”

And the joy of returning to Hogwarts and the world of Harry Potter is something that’s palpable in the cinema, insists Yates:

When the camera flies over those mountains and you suddenly see that school at the end of the lake, you can feel the ripple of anticipation in the theatre. 

For Yates, it was one of the best parts of making the movie: “It’s a pleasure to be able to take the audience back and experience again the magic of Hogwarts”. Have a look at the trailer below:

Source: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

Want to see JK Rowling’s dark, magical world for yourself? Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits Irish cinemas this weekend on general release from Warner Bros Pictures. Find out more about the fantastic beasts, witches and wizards you can look forward to seeing on screen here

Sponsored by:

Warner Bros.

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