There’s a war coming to the wizarding world, and Albus Dumbledore has been forced to the sidelines while the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald assembles his forces. However, the first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore demonstrates that Albus is far from helpless. Thanks to his efforts, an unlikely team of wizards (and one muggle) may be enough to turn the tide against Grindelwald. Their bravery is inspiring, especially in the face of Grindelwald’s evil. But he has already arranged a nasty surprise for Dumbledore: A long-lost brother who wants him dead.
Since Johnny Depp was forced to step down from the franchise, this trailer marks the official debut of Hannibal‘s Mads Mikkelsen as the new Grindelwald. It’s unclear if the character’s new face is part of the plot or if the audience is supposed to simply accept the recasting without explanation. Regardless, Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald is appropriately sinister and powerful in the new footage. He has also convinced Credence Barebone that Albus wants him dead because Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore. This information is coming solely from Grindelwald, so we can’t actually take what he says at face value. Yet Credence believes it, and it fuels his confrontation with Albus in the trailer.
Why is Grindelwald acting through Credence instead of attacking Albus directly? For the same reason that Albus has been forced to sit out of the fight. Several years earlier, these two men were in love. Or at least Albus loved Grindelwald. That’s why they swore a blood oath to never attack each other. And the first wizard who finds a way out of that pact will hold the advantage. Aiming Credence at Albus may be the loophole that Grindelwald was hoping to find.
The franchise’s main protagonist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), is the unlikely hero leading the way against Grindelwald in Albus’ absence. By the time Harry Potter was born, Newt was renowned for his skills as a magizoologist. Who knew that on the eve of World War 2 that Newt was also the world’s best hope to prevent a civil war between the wizards. Newt’s best friends, Tina Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski, as well as his brother, Theseus Scamander, are standing with him. But Queenie Goldstein has already abandoned them to join Grindelwald. And she may not be the last defection.
Redmayne stars in the film as Newt Scamander, with Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone, William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama, Jessica Williams as Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, and Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald.
Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and screenwriter Steve Kloves collaborated on the script for returning director David Yates. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will hit theaters on April 15, 2022.
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