This November, David Yates and Warner Bros. will be hoping to avoid the sophomore slump with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
It’s the second installment in the five-part Harry Potter prequel series, and one which features Jude Law and Johnny Depp in prominent roles. The latter is on board as illustrious dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who was originally a love interest for the young Albus Dumbledore (Law) before his deviant behavior led him down a dark and dangerous path from which there is no return.
Caught up in the middle of all this is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who is now a published author on his way to Paris for a brand new adventure. And that’s where The Crimes of Grindelwald begins.
Newt will be dealing with his own problems, too, and it’s for this reason that November’s Fantastic Beasts sequel has been described as a “grown-up” Potter movie with many individual love stories scattered throughout the script.
The script is a very interesting synthesis between a sort of political thriller and love story. So it’s a sort of fusion of genres, if you like, which I think makes it quite unique in this series of films that we’ve been making based on [JK Rowling’s] work. You know, certainly beyond the Potter books, now she’s writing these screenplays, if you like, from scratch, originally for the theater, for the cinema. So she’s come out with this very original kind of melody, which is this: fundamentally, it’s a kind of love story, but it has a really interesting thriller-esque sort of vibe to it as well.
That’s David Yates there, who spoke to Collider last year as part of a set visit. It’s one which has yielded all sorts of fascinating intel about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, including the decision to bring back Hogwarts and the student-mentor friendship between Newt and Dumbledore, who still holds his position as professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts.
It’s no wonder Jude Law’s wizard has conflicting feelings about Grindelwald, but the ways in which he uses Newt to combat Johnny Depp’s antagonist evokes memories of Dumbledore manipulating the Boy Who Lived.
And it’s for this reason why Yates believes The Crimes of Grindelwald is a nuanced adventure with many moving parts, just as J.K. Rowling would’ve wanted it.
And the thing about her books and the thing about the movies, they’re always very generous. You know, they combined a number of genres. In one way, they’re funny, they’re emotional, they have a fantastical element, obviously. They can be quite dramatic. And so this movie is no exception. It’s a really rich meal. It’s full of different textures and tones and the challenge always is to combine all of those textures into one. And Jo starts up brilliantly with the way she lays out the script. It’s a really generous, interesting thriller/love story.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald zooms into theaters worldwide on November 16th.