11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

From casting controversies to magical wands, here’s your guide to the upcoming film

By Vannessa Jackson Nov 16, 2018 11:00 AMTags
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Movie magic at its finest!

J.K. Rowling may very well be one of the best storytellers to ever walk this earth. Not only did she pen the incredibly successful and absolutely spellbinding Harry Potter franchise, but she found a way to breathe new life into the stories with her book turned 2016 movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Her stories have a way of leaving viewers on the edge of their seats asking for more, and luckily, she is never one to disappoint. In fact, the author already confirmed there will be at least five movies in this series!

The second flick in the franchise, Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on Nov. 16, and if you thought it wasn't possible to top the first film, then you better think again.

Not only does the story itself offer thrilling twists and turns that fans can get excited about, but there are a lot of behind-the-scenes secrets and mysteries to be pumped for as well. The film stars Jude Law as a young Dumbledore and brings back some familiar faces from the Harry Potter franchise as well.

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Before you settle in to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, check out 11 little-known facts you'll want to know before heading to the theater. 


J.K. Rowling personally asked Johnny Depp to be Grindelwald, and gave him total creative freedom in the project. "Someone said J.K. Rowling would like to talk to me. I spoke to a few producers and the director and to J.K. and had long conversations basically about the Grindelwald character. J.K. said something I did not expect to hear because obviously her detail to her characters and those wizarding worlds is astonishing," Depp told Collider. "The fact that she said, ‘I can't wait to see what you do with the character.' Just to hand it off to me with that degree of trust, I was really touched, blown away by that."


Jude Law's wand in the film is CGI. Law plays young Dumbledore in the film. The wand he was originally using looked too similar to the elder wand, which Dumbledore wouldn't have received yet at this point in history. So instead, they decided to CGI his wad for a big portion of the film.


It may come as a surprise that this isn't the first time a whole movie has focused on Grindelwald, having been part of Harry Potter history since the very beginning. In fact, his first mention was in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.


Law also had something else different about his wand during the film, because he was one of the only cast members who never had to attend "wand school." It's tried and true tradition in these franchises to learn how to properly wield a wand, but they decided to change things up this time around, leaving Law without proper training.



Grindelwald's creepy eyes were actually a character choice added by Depp. "It's a character choice. I saw Grindelwald as more than one, if you know what I mean. I almost felt like he's maybe two people. He's twins in one body. So a gamey eye is more like the other side of him. Sort of like a brain for each eye, an albino twin, and he's somewhere in the middle," Depp shared with Entertainment Weekly.


Although Depp has been attached to this project for many years, his involvement stirred up some controversy this year due to his personal life. After allegations of abuse surfaced from his ex-wife Amber Heard, many fans questioned his involvement in the project. Rowling was quick to come to his defense. 

"Based on our understanding of the circumstances, 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," Rowling shared in a public statement.  "I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn't governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing."


Zoe Kravitz' character Leta Lestrange represents the biggest role for a person of color in the Harry Potter franchise. It's no secret that diversity hasn't been the franchise's strong suit, something Rowling has attempted to remedy in recent years. So, it's pretty historic to see Kravitz step into this world and bring a little diversity to the mix.


Speaking of inclusivity, Rowling has also brought some LGBTQ representation to the mix—sort of! The author revealed previously that Dumbledore is gay, however, in this film he won't be portrayed explicitly so. Of course, that could change in films down the road!


Considering the film is called Fantastic Beasts, fans should be on the lookout for at least two new beasts in this film. First we have Kelpie, a shapeshifting aquatic beast, and then there will be Zouwu, a Chinese creature that is capable of traveling thousands of miles a day.


Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald is set in Paris, while the first film was based in New York. Some fans believe J.K. Rowling may have even hinted at the locations of the other films. Germany might be in the future!


You can expect to see the next film in the franchise very soon. The film already has a release date, Nov. 20, 2020, and we can't wait to see where the beasts will take them next!

Don't miss Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald when it arrives in theaters on Nov. 16!

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