Newt Scamander carries a wand, practices magic, and works for the Ministry of Magic even though he was expelled from Hogwarts, which puzzled several fans online especially since Hagrid wasn't afforded those liberties. J.K. Rowling explained that the reason for this will be revealed throughout the series.
This movie features the first time in Beasts franchise that actors from the Harry Potter movies have reprised their roles: Jamie Campbell Bower as Young Grindelwald and Toby Regbo as Young Dumbledore; both briefly appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010).
Zoë Kravitz's character, Leta Lestrange, has a much larger part in this film. The Lestrange family has a very notable reputation in the wizarding world, where the series previously featured Bellatrix Lestrange (played by Helena Bonham Carter), who married into the family, and to a lesser extent, her husband Rodolphus and his brother Rabastan. They are one of the original Sacred Twenty-Eight (truly pureblood families) and are known for their extreme wealth, pureblood supremacy, and practice of the Dark Arts. A few members of the family even become Death Eaters.
Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) is estimated to be less than a year old when this movie takes place. In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", which takes place in 1992, the Chamber is said to had been opened 50 years prior, i.e. in 1942. It is also said that Tom Riddle turned 16 that same year, so he must have been born on December 31, 1926 (since 1942-16=1926). Since this movie is set in 1927, Tom would be one year old by the end of that year.
To prepare for the role of Dumbledore, J.K. Rowling gave Jude Law extremely secret details about his character during a two and a half-hour meeting between two of them during which he was allowed to ask as much questions he needed to know to his content. Law also watched Michael Gambon's performance in the previous six films to help establish the character and performance.
J.K. Rowling has confirmed on Twitter that Newt Scamander is still going be the main character in the following movies.
The interior of the basement where Newt Scamander keeps his beasts is stylized according to the lithograph "Relativity" by Maurits Cornelis Escher.
During his first audition for Theseus, Callum Turner instinctively kissed Eddie Redmayne on the top of his head; he believes that was what got him the role.
Coincidentally, Callum Turner and Eddie Redmayne (who play brothers) grew up less than a hundred meters from each other. Their childhood homes in Chelsea, London are a 3 minute walk from each other. The two many milestones in the same places, such as learning to swim in the same pool. ("There's something in that, an essence in the part of the world where we both grew up. It's no coincidence that we're now playing brothers," says Turner.)
The role of Nagini was previously offered to Indonesian actress, Acha Septriasa as J.K. Rowling stated that the character was inspired by folklore from Indonesia. She turned down the offer because of pregnancy.
Hogwarts exteriors, like some interiors, were shot in the historic Lacock Abbey, dating from 1229. This abbey, located in Wiltshire, England, had already been used for the same purpose for the first films of the Harry Potter saga .
Although Theseus is the older brother of Newt, Eddie Redmayne, who played Newt, is 8 years older than Callum Turner who portrayed his brother Theseus in the film.
Filmed almost entirely at Leavesden's Warner Studios (located in western Hertfordshire County, about 30 kilometers from London), which has been home to the wizarding world for almost twenty years.
Because the script was top secret, the characters had code names for members of the film crew.
As with the first film, animal making required months of graphic, pattern, and animation testing to determine the appearance, behavior, movements, attitude, and personality of each creature. J.K. Rowling was inspired, for many of them, by legendary creatures from different cultures, such as the Chinese Zouwu, the Scottish Kelpie and the French Matagot.
Costume designer Colleen Atwood has been dressing Johnny Depp for all kinds of characters for over 30 years.
The renewed casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald (a role he had briefly played in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)) caused considerable controversy among fans, due to Depp's highly publicized divorce which was accompanied by allegations of domestic abuse (which he denied). Writer J.K. Rowling, however, has defended the casting choice, releasing statements in which she fully supports Depp's involvement in the film and its upcoming sequels.
Jude Law used an authentic sleight of hand move he had learned for the scene where Dumbledore presents his card to Scamander. Whether the visual outcome has then been further "tweaked" in post production or not, is (as of the film's release) up for debate, but the move itself is still easily recognisable to anyone who's ever so much as dabbled into the art of sleight of hands.
Filming began in January 2017. On Twitter, J.K. Rowling announced that Alison Sudol would return, alongside the already confirmed Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston.
In Dumbledore's Dark Arts Class he calls one of the students by the name McClaggan. Some think this student could be the grandfather of "Cormac McClaggan" who was a prominent character in The Half Blood Prince. That character's last name, however, is spelled McLaggen in the books, and this character is listed as McClaggan in the film credits, which lead to some confusion and speculations as to whether they should be regarded as related or not. But the most likely explanation for this is that someone simply misspelled the name for the credits (which wouldn't be the first for a film by a long way), and that the nod to the previously established character was nevertheless the actual intention.
The early rumors on who would play the young Albus Dumbledore included Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch and then Jared Harris (the son of the late Richard Harris, who played the older Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies).
Some dispute seems to be as to how the name Grindelwald should actually be pronounced, with for instance "young" Dumbledore putting a very noticeable German spin on it (i.e. the Wald part pronounced much like in the English word "Vast"), whereas most other characters use a more conventional English pronunciation (i.e. the Wald part pronounced much like in the English word "Wall"). There actually is a city in Switzerland by the name of Grindelwald, so Dumbledore's version (who also knows the man more intimately than most) certainly has some foundation.
A set of puppeteers allowed the actors and the technicians to physically take the place of the animals which were then finalized in post production thanks to the visual effects. Robin Guiver, the puppeteer responsible for creatures, led the team. He is a recognized professional since his creation of the character of "War Horse" on Broadway and his participation in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). The puppets were of different sizes and materials depending on the beast: for example, small bags of marbles were used to double the Niffler and his babies. And the enormous Zouwu required no less than three puppeteers, one manipulating his large sculpted head while the others moved his body and tail nearly three meters long that they swayed at the end of a pole.
Costume designer Colleen Atwood was inspired by 1940s black and white films, most notably Carol Reed's The Third Man (1949)
Grindelwald's skull hookah is engraved with the words "für das größere wohl" (For the Greater Good") and the date 1898. The motto is related to his own philosophy: e.g. he is not trying to dominate muggles and wizards for power sake, but for the greater good. The date can be a reference to Gindelwald's years in the Durmstrang institute of magic, according to Pottermore.
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (who plays the role of Skender) was the Icelandic voice for Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).
Gellert Grindelwald has now been played by four actors: Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, Jamie Campbell Bower and Michael Byrne.
Rather than filming in Paris, the producers decided to reconstitute the French capital at Leavesden studios, where it was possible to control the events, as was the case with New York in the first opus. Production designer Stuart Craig and his team began photographing different parts of Paris for their research in order to get shots that visual effects teams could use as backgrounds to extend the city to the horizon.
It is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series.
Jude Law previously appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) with previous Dumbledore Michael Gambon. He also appeared in Road to Perdition (2002) with Ciarán Hinds, who played his brother Aberforth. In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) he worked with Jared Harris, son of previous Dumbledore Richard Harris. In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), he worked with Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell.
The Fantastic Beasts had generated more than $800 million in box office revenue worldwide for a budget of $180 million. This is not, however, David Yates' biggest hit since Harry Potter movies he directed, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) made $943, $935, $960 and $1,342 million in global revenue, respectively.
Principal photography for the film began at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden London in July 2017. Filming also took place in England, including London, Switzerland, and Paris.
Jude Law and Michael Gambon have both played the character of Albus Dumbledore. They also both appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004), coincidentally released the same year of Michael Gambon's first appearance as Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).
Based on the published screenplay, Claudia Kim (Nagini) has only five spoken lines throughout the entire film.
This is (at least) the fourth time actor Jude Law takes on a film role of a character that's previously been portrayed by other actors: twice in remakes of films with Michael Caine (Sleuth and Alfie); the character Dr. Watson, who's been portrayed by several actors in numerous films; and now Albus Dumbledore, of the original Harry Potter films.