Nov 16, 2018: Second movie in Fantastic Beasts franchise opens in United States
UNITED STATES - Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second in the Harry Potter prequel series about the adventures of Newt Scamander, opens with Eddie Redmayne in the starring role and controversy finally drifting away from Johnny Depp.
The movie, set in the 1920s in New York City, sees the return of Redmayne as magical zoologist Scamander. Jude Law portrays future Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who orders his former student Scamander to capture dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. The casting of Depp as Grindelwald set off a storm, with calls for the role to be given to someone else. Scandal has dogged Depp since revelations that he physically abused his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
Some fans of the franchise criticized J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter franchise and the screenwriter of both the original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the Crimes of Grindlewald sequel, for featuring an alleged abuser in her films. She said she struggled with the casting decision because of the revelations, but defended her decision to keep Depp in the role. The agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, she said, “must be respected.”
The story sees Grindelwald escaping custody and working to gather followers. They do not suspect the wizard’s true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world, according to the IMDb outline of the plot.
The other stars include Katherine Waterston as Tina, Alison Sudol as Queenie, Dan Fogler as Jacob, Ezra Miller as Credence and Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange.
The spinoff franchise will consist of five films.