10 revelations from the set of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The Pottermore News Team

On the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald set with David Yates, Callum Turner and Eddie Redmayne
On the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald set with David Yates, Callum Turner and Eddie Redmayne. Image: Warner Bros.

The cast and production team from The Crimes of Grindelwald have divulged a few secrets from the upcoming film. Here’s a few things we thought you’d like to know – so beware of spoilers.

Actors Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller and Callum Turner joined members of the production team – Colleen Atwood, Martin Foley and Pierre Bohanna – as well as director David Yates and producer David Heyman, to tell us a few titbits about the next Fantastic Beasts film.

Here are some of the things we can expect from the second instalment.

1. The film will be a thriller with political themes

Director David Yates teased out the general vibe of the next film, promising it would be a ‘interesting thriller/love story’. David also spoke of the political themes that run throughout the film, likening them to the politics also seen in the Harry Potter books.

‘If you're making a movie, ultimately, you can't help but be sensitive to the world in which you create it,’ he explained. ‘It influences you every single day, influenced Jo when she was writing the script, influences us as we put the whole story together. We're alive to what's happening in the bigger world but the themes, I think, are kind of universal and archetypal and timeless, rather than a direct political sort of counterpoint or context. It's really about the values of tolerance and understanding and a celebration of diversity.’

Grindelwald addresses his followers in The Crimes of Grindelwald
Grindelwald delivers a speech in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image: Warner Bros.

‘The values that we explore in this film and the things that challenge those values and undermine those values,’ he added. ‘The promotion of fear and the persecution of otherness, those things go through history. They're not just relevant to now. What's slightly scary is they're becoming more relevant now.’

2. It will also be quite ‘sophisticated’

One of the main premises of the Harry Potter stories was love, such as the love that Harry’s mother used to save him. According to David Yates, The Crimes of Grindelwald will also follow this theme, but explore the idea of ‘being corrupted’ by love.

Tina Goldstein and Newt Scamander
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

‘It feels like everything's growing up and getting a bit more sophisticated,’ David Yates divulged. ‘What we've done more than any of the others is this is very much a sort of multi-character narrative. So, we're following a lot of characters all at the same time, and it's a series of couplets. It's a series of love stories, really. The central theme is falling in love, falling out of love, falling in love with an ideology, being drawn into love, being corrupted by love. It all circles around that central premise of love, I think.’

3. The look and feel is very film noir

Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood is back again to dress the characters for the second adventure. One of her core inspirations this time around was film noir, particularly citing the 1940s classic, The Third Man.

Photo of Newt Scamander and Jacob Kowalski on the streets of Paris
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

‘My inspiration definitely reflects film noir and I love the way The Third Man looks; I mean it’s a great-looking film. The use of light and shadow is beautiful,’ she told us.

‘That was David Yates’s big note; he really liked the noir feeling for this one.’

Does this mean we’ll see a Niffler in a little hat and trench coat? Okay, probably not...

4. The scripts were so secret, the characters all had codenames

We don’t have enchanted parchment in the real world sadly, so the makers of Fantastic Beasts had to resort to other ways to keep the details of the scripts secret.

Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law behind the scenes of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

‘It’s so funny because you get sent these scenes and all the characters' names are changed,’ Eddie Redmayne divulged. ‘They're so top secret on this set that the costume department, when they break down the characters and what their clothes are the whole way through, they're not allowed to write the names of the characters. So, Newt is "Good Guy". Tina is "Turner" after Tina Turner. And Dumbledore is "Very Good Guy".'

5. Credence will be part of a wizarding circus called ‘Circus Arcanus’

Ezra Miller described how his troubled character, Credence, would develop in the second film, revealing the character will fall into a wizarding circus. We’ve seen said circus a few times in the trailers.

‘The Circus Arcanus,’ Ezra said. ‘It's interesting because we heard in Credence's narrative in the first film, the derogatory term “freak” thrown at him in a way that was deeply effective, right? I find it really interesting that we find him here at a sideshow, in a freak show as they were known.'

Le Cirque Arcanus, the wizarding circus from The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Le Cirque Arcanus from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image: Warner Bros.

‘[The circus] is obviously beautiful and Stuart Craig [has created] a beautiful set and incredible things.’

6. There are ‘jaw dropping moments’ for Harry Potter fans

Eddie Redmayne, once again taking on the mantle as our hero, Newt Scamander, teased that the Harry Potter connections in the films will be ‘jaw dropping’.

‘I read [the script] and it has such an intricacy to it. It has so many layers. And it has so many jaw-dropping moments if you’re a Potter fan,’ he said.

‘Basically, at the end [of reading the script] my jaw is on the floor,’ Eddie laughed. ‘And I then have to start and read it all over again.’

Sounds rather promising!

7. Callum Turner discovered his Hogwarts house

‘I actually got Hufflepuff,’ the actor revealed. Callum will be playing Newt’s older brother, Theseus Scamander, in the new film.

Fun fact: his on-screen brother, Eddie Redmayne AKA Newt Scamander, is a Hufflepuff too – and Eddie has even admitted the strange similarities between him and Callum before.

Theseus and Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Theseus and Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image: Warner Bros.

'One of the things I've enjoyed most is working with Callum,’ Eddie said. ‘I was watching War and Peace which he was in. My wife and I were watching and he turned up on screen and literally, both Hannah and I [said] that's like a taller, darker, better looking version of me.’

Callum also talked about growing up as a massive Potter fan, ‘hoping an owl would bring a letter through my window’. Well, we can all relate to that.

8. Hogwarts will be important to the story

Fans gasped collectively when that familiar Scottish castle popped up in the first The Crimes of Grindelwaldtrailer – and David Yates spoke about why it’s so important that Hogwarts school features in this film’s story.

‘Because we were introducing Dumbledore, it felt right to bring that world back into this one,’ he explained. ‘We're there very briefly. You know, right in the middle of the movie, we go back about 10 minutes to Hogwarts and see it in 1927. It was a very organic natural part of the development process that took us back there.’

Young Albus Dumbledore
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros. Photo by Jaap Buitendijk.

‘Going back to Hogwarts is a very important function of this story,’ he added mysteriously.

9. The film will feature many new beasts

Martin Foley, who serves as supervising art director on the new film, promised many new magical creatures for the second instalment. And some you won’t have heard of from your Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook.

Baby Nifflers from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Baby Nifflers from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image: Warner Bros.

‘There are so many arcs to these films. And creatures are definitely still very much part of it,’ he explained. ‘Jo likes birds so there's a lot of birdlike creatures.’

Earlier this year, Eddie Redmayne revealed that his Niffler would have babies in this film. Eddie added that working with the baby Nifflers was one of his favourite things about the new film.

‘It's probably been my favourite scene to shoot so far, the baby Nifflers,’ Eddie admitted. ‘They're just causing havoc and it coincided with the time that I now have a 15-month-old child and the baby Nifflers retain many of the same qualities!’

Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image: Warner Bros.
Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image: Warner Bros.

10. The Fantastic Beasts stories could travel all over the world

The first Fantastic Beasts film showed us wizarding New York, the next will reveal the secret magic of Paris. And David Yates has now suggested that the next three Fantastic Beasts films will continue to travel all over the world.

Newt Scamander examines Paris postcard in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Newt Scamander examines Paris postcard in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Image from Warner Bros.

‘Do you know, at some point the movies are going to probably go all over the world. I know where the third movie is going…’ he teased.

For now, we shall simply have to remain patient.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald comes to cinemas 16 November.