Fantastic Beasts 2 may officially be titled The Crimes of Grindelwald, but the first trailer makes it clear: This is Young Dumbledore’s movie.
Jude Law’s Dumbledore is front and center, delivering cheeky one-liners that are immediately familiar, and sporting three-piece suits that are … not so familiar. The trailer also reintroduces us to Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald, along with a host of characters from the last film: Katherine Waterston’s Tina, Dan Fogler’s Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol’s Queenie, and even Ezra Miller’s Credence all make brief, mysterious appearances. We’re also treated to first looks at Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange and Callum Turner as Newt’s brother, Theseus Scamander. But the mere fact Dumbledore is so prominent seems to signal that Beasts 2 will primarily focus on filling in many of the more hazy details of the past that were sprinkled into the original Harry Potter saga.
The trailer’s first shots take place at Hogwarts before Dumbledore’s headmaster days, back when he was a humble professor. We see him casually posted up in a room that should look familiar if you’ve seen the boggart scene from Prisoner of Azkaban.
Confronted by a squad of self-serious officials, presumably from the Ministry of Magic, Dumbledore laughs off accusations that Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander is operating under his orders, but shots of various rooftop meetings between the two imply that Newt is in fact in cahoots with his headmaster-to-be.
“I can’t move against Grindelwald,” Dumbledore tells him. “It has to be you.” Why that is, exactly, remains to be seen. Whether the Fantastic Beasts movies will delve into Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s canonical romance has been a subject of controversy, but these few lines do a lot to reassure viewers that the studio eventually plans to tackle the subject.
Beyond that, this trailer does more than preview the events of the second film—it hints at the direction of the entire franchise. It seems like Dumbledore’s personal history will play a larger part than we expected, and that future films may delve into things only hinted at in the books. Odds seem good that we’ll eventually see the legendary duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald that’s described briefly in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Future films may also expand on Dumbledore’s personal struggle with the Deathly Hallows, as well as the development of his role as headmaster. Will young Tom Riddle make an appearance at some point? I wouldn’t rule it out.
The official franchise title may still bear the Fantastic Beasts moniker, and the trailer included just enough shots of CGI creatures to live up to that, but it looks like we can count on Fantastic Beasts 2 to lean into the Deathly Hallows mythology far more than the first film (the Hallows are in the film’s logo and are attached to its official hashtag, so this seems like a good bet). Between this Hallows foreshadowing and an extended look at the Dumbledore-Grindelwald relationship, fans wanting more from the original Harry Potter movies have a lot to look forward to.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters November 16.