It's time to return to the Wizarding World. More than three years have passed since the last installment in the Fantastic Beasts saga—2018's The Crimes of Grindelwald—hit theaters. That film's cliffhanger ending made fans question everything they thought they knew about Albus Dumbledore. Now, the bewitchingly titled Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will finally provide answers, along with another magical adventure for our favorite magizoologist and his band of merry misfits, plenty of otherworldly creatures, and (we suspect) all new questions.
Here is everything you need to know about The Secrets of Dumbledore:
What is 'The Secrets of Dumbledore' about?
Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
So teases the movie's official synopsis. This installment is set in the 1930s and expected to globe trot from Hogwarts to Rio de Janeiro, tracking the growing tensions between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Since Dumbledore cannot duel Grindelwald himself (because of a blood pact that we'll discuss in a moment), he assembles an army of sorts, which includes Newt, his brother Theseus Scamander, Newt's assistant Bunty, Ilvermorny professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, and the muggle baker, Jacob Kowalski.
As for the titular secrets, Dumbledore was never an open book in the Harry Potter movies—he was always a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, locked away inside a Pensieve—so those mysteries remain to be revealed in the movie.
Which 'Fantastic Beasts' characters are back?
Jude Law's eponymous Dumbledore, Hogwart's Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, of course. As is Eddie Redmayne as Newt, along with right-hand fantastic beasts Teddy the niffler and Pickett the bowtruckle.
On their side is Dan Fogler as No-Maj Jacob, Callum Turner as Theseus, and Victoria Yeates as Bunty Broadacre, in an expanded role. Plus, William Nadylam as the enigmatic French wizard, Yusuf Kama. Katherine Waterston's Tina Goldstein is set to return, though she's yet to be seen in any trailers or posters.
Grindelwald's followers include Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone, aka Aurelius Dumbledore, Poppy Corby-Tuech as Vinda Rosier, and Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, who turned to the dark side at the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Who's playing Grindelwald in this movie?
Mads Mikkelsen plays Grindelwald, taking over the role that was played by Johnny Depp in the first two movies. The Danish actor is perhaps best known for films like Casino Royale, Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as well as Thomas Vinterberg's 2020 comedy drama Another Round, which won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film for Denmark.
Depp was asked to resign after losing a much-publicized libel lawsuit in the U.K. (He had shot only one scene for The Secrets of Dumbledore.) At the time, Warner Bros. said in a statement, "Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast."
Who else is new to the cast?
Technically, Jessica Williams' Lally Hicks made her debut in the last movie, appearing via a magical book at Nicolas Flamel's home. But, since that was merely a cameo and she will play a pivotal role here, we are including the American schoolteacher here among those who are new to the cast.
The same can be said for Fiona Glascott's Minerva McGonagall, who made a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance in The Crimes of Grindelwald, but has a larger role in this film. Maggie Smith portrayed the Transfiguration professor in the Harry Potter movies.
Another key character to be re-introduced in The Secrets of Dumbledore is the titular wizard's brother and Hog's Head Inn owner, Aberforth Dumbledore. Ciarán Hinds portrayed Aberforth in Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2, but here he is played by Richard Coyle.
We'll also meet a host of international wizards including the Minister of Magic for China, Liu Tao (Dave Wong); the Minister of Magic for Germany, Anton Vogel (Oliver Masucci); and the Minister of Magic for Brazil, Vicência Santos (Maria Fernanda Cândido); plus a mysterious new character called Helmut (Aleksandr Kuznetsov).
What do I need to remember from 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' and 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'?
Most of what you'll need to know comes from the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald. The first thing to remember is that Newt recovered the vial containing the blood pact that Dumbledore and Grindelwald made in their youth, a magical vow that prevents the boyhood friends from directly fighting one another. At the end of the movie, Dumbledore vows to destroy it.
The second thing you must recall is a bit more complicated. Credence Barebone is introduced in the first movie as an orphan raised by an anti-witchcraft zealot and revealed to an Obscurial. In the sequel, he briefly believes himself to be Corvus Lestrange, the late half-brother of Leta Lestrange.
Instead, the final scene of The Crimes of Grindelwald sees Credence take sides with the Dark wizard at Nurmengard Castle, where Grindelwald gifts him a wand and reveals his true identity: Aurelius Dumbledore, a previously-unheard-of Dumbledore brother.
Who's behind the scenes on 'The Secrets of Dumbledore'?
David Yates—who has directed every Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts installment since The Order of the Phoenix—is once again at the helm. The script was written by J.K. Rowling and longtime Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves (who penned every adaptation except for The Order of the Phoenix). This is the first Fantastic Beasts movie not scripted solely by Rowling.
The costumes come courtesy of Colleen Atwood, who won an Oscar (her fourth) for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with production design by three-time Oscar-winner Stuart Craig (who has been nominated a total of eleven times—a total of five times for his work on Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films) and Neil Lamont, and music by nine-time Oscar nominee James Newton Howard, who also composed the scores for the other two Fantastic Beasts films.
Is there a trailer?
Yes, two trailers have been released. Watch below:
As well as featurettes delving into The Secrets of Dumbledore:
When and where will we be able to watch it?
Warner Bros. will release Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in theaters on April 15.