Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Director Explains Differences Between Grindelwald And Voldemort

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After his cameo at the end of And Where to Find Them, Johnny Depp will make his proper debut as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the sequel that bears his name, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The main villain of the Harry Potter movies, Lord Voldemort, casts a long shadow, though. So what makes Grindelwald different from – maybe even better than – the no-nosed, bald-headed dark lord?

Director David Yates – who’s helmed every Wizarding World film since The Order of the Phoenix – explained to Empire that the key difference is that Grindelwald has one skill that Voldemort lacked: he has a lot of charisma. While the latter would scare and curse people into doing his bidding, the former’s a powerful speaker and master of coercion. Much like a talented politician, he can get anyone to come around to his side of the fence.

“Grindelwald as a villain is quite unlike Voldemort… Voldemort was basically a thug. If you disagreed with him, he’d just kill you on the spot…The scary thing about Grindelwald is that if you disagree with him, within five minutes he’ll have you agreeing with him… He’s incredibly charming and convincing.”

We’ve seen a taste of Grindelwald’s oratory talent in the trailers already and some have seen it first-hand when Depp appeared in character on stage at this summer’s SDCC to give one of the villain’s patented speeches about why wizards should rise up to crush the muggles.

Of course, the other thing fans will know about Grindelwald that marks him out from Voldemort is that Albus and Gellert were once close friends in their teenage years. Much like Marvel’s Professor X and Magneto, they then became enemies as their opinions on social matters diverged. The extra twist Rowling gave the scenario is that she intended for Dumbledore to have been in love with Grindelwald. However, Yates has previously explained that the sexuality of Albus, now played by Jude Law, will not be touched on in Fantastic Beasts 2. 

At least some of their past history together will be alluded to, though, as the final trailer (above) revealed that Jamie Campbell Bower, who played the young Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2, would return to his role. Hopefully the villain lives up to Yates’ hype when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16th.

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