9 Reveals From Our 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' Set Visit

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 6 months ago

Find out what we learned about J.K. Rowling's magical sequel from spending a day on set.

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Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

IMDb headed to Warner Bros. Studios just outside of London to spend the day on the set of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which continues the magical story that began with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in Nov. 2016.

The prequels to the blockbuster Harry Potter series follow the rise of a powerful dark wizard named Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and a humble wizard named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who uses his knowledge of magical creatures for the greater good.

The upcoming movie sees the action move from New York to France, and our visit included fake Parisian streets, interviews with key members of the cast, and a peek at some of the props.

Dan Fogler and Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Darker Tone

Oscar-winner (Eddie Redmayne) returns as "magizoologist " Newt Scamander. Speaking on a break from filming, Redmayne said: "In this film, you really get inside the psychology of the characters more and it's a darker place."

Taking place in 1927, a decade before World War II, Redmayne added: "You can sort of get a sense of what's coming historically in the Muggle world and certainly the wizarding world. There are elements that are reflecting that and with the rise of Grindelwald and this greater evil, the stakes are higher."

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Beast Master

It wouldn't be Fantastic Beasts without the creatures and Redmayne assured us there will be plenty to enjoy.

"Probably been my favorite scene to shoot so far involves baby Nifflers," said Redmayne of the mole-like, treasure-seekers (seen here). "They just cause havoc along with new creatures that are as unique, useful, and dangerous — if not more so — than in the first film."

Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Credence Revival

Ezra Miller returns as Credence, a young man once believed to be non-magical but found to have developed an Obscurus (a dark parasitical magical force).

Credence has come to Paris, where he is desperately searching for his real mother, hoping to learn his true identity.

Taking a break from filming, Miller said: "He's a bit of a ticking time bomb, given his particular magical condition. But he has a burning need to know more about who he actually is... so he's on this quest for identity."

He added: "What I think is interesting in the story of Credence is that he has been betrayed and mistreated by both worlds at this point. He has been mistreated by folks in the wizarding world, and muggle folks as well, so I think there a great skepticism of everyone he sees."

David Yates, Eddie Redmayne, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Meet Theseus Scamander

Although mentioned in the first movie, this will be the first time we see Theseus Scamander, Newt's older brother. Played by Callum Turner (pictured center), Theseus is the Head Auror at the Ministry of Magic and is engaged to Leta Lestrange.

Turner told us: "He's kind of the opposite of Newt. He's gone through the same schooling obviously, but once he got out he decided that the establishment was the way to fight the good fight. Theseus is or may be quite more rigid or just part of the establishment."

In the props department, we discovered that Theseus' wand is made of marble, "the wand of a confident person," according to prop modeller Pierre Bohanna.

Jude Law and Joshua Shea in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Young Dumbledore and the Return to Hogwarts

Jude Law plays a young version of Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts sequel. The future headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor when we meet him in the upcoming film.

Director David Yates told us: "We're seeing Dumbledore as a young man and Dumbledore as a young man is quite a rebel. He's quite complicated. He's far from perfect. He's an inspiring teacher. All the pupils love him. But, as ever, being Dumbledore, he's a wonderful manipulator and he has this incredible ability to sort of maneuver people into situations that they may not want to be maneuvered into."

His own formidable powers notwithstanding, Dumbledore is unable to move against Grindelwald himself — for reasons he alone knows — and must rely on Newt to try and thwart the Dark wizard’s plans.

Alison Sudol and David Yates in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Political Thriller Meets Love Story

David Yates, who directed the first Fantastic Beasts after making four installments of the Harry Potter franchise, returns for the second movie.

Standing on a fake Paris street, Yates told us: "The script is a very interesting synthesis between a political thriller and love story, which I think makes it quite unique in this series of films."

Asked if the movie would address divisive political times, Yates said: "We're alive to what's happening in the bigger world. But the themes are universal... We're making a story that celebrates tolerance, acceptance of the other, and is cynical when people pretend they have all the answers at a simplistic level, because they probably don't."

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

New Beasts

Alongside some of the more popular beasts from the first film are a selection of new creatures. They include the Zouwu, a beast as big as an elephant, with a striped body, scraggly mane, four fangs that curl up out of its mouth, and long sharp claws.

Native to China, Zouwus are described as "incredibly powerful and fast, capable of traveling 1000 miles in a day." The Zouwu seen here was captured by Skender, the owner and ringmaster of the wizarding world’s Circus Arcanus, and bears the scars of its abuse.

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Meet the Kelpie

Another new beast is the Kelpie, which is a creature that lives underwater and sports camouflage that resembles long, thick strands of green kelp.

The Kelpie is described as "extremely strong and hard to tame, with a nasty bite." However, once bridled, it is docile and, for those who know how to handle it, the Kelpie can provide a fast underwater ride, as seen here with Newt hitching a lift.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

France's Answer to the Ministry

The British Ministry of Magic is well-known to Harry Potter fans and the first Fantastic Beasts movie introduced audiences to the American equivalent, Macusa. But in the upcoming movie, we enter the world of the Ministry for Magic Affairs of France (Le Ministère des Affaires Magiques de la France).

One of the more impressive sets we visited, it is set beneath the streets of Paris but with a magical glass roof. Around these offices patrol feline Matagots, which resemble a hairless Sphinx cat. They mainly do menial jobs, including staffing the mailroom and providing security for various other departments. But, if provoked, they will transform into something far more menacing.