Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that principal photography has started on the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ sequel. The film will be the next adventure set in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, and is the second of five films planned for the new series. The first film in the extended franchise was “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The as-yet-untitled film is being directed by David Yates.
Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars once more as wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander; alongside Katherine Waterston as Auror Tina Goldstein; Alison Sudol as her sister, Queenie Goldstein; and Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, the only No-Maj in the foursome.
Oscar nominee Johnny Depp (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, “Finding Neverland”), who was revealed as Gellert Grindelwald, stars as the powerful Dark wizard in the film. Oscar nominee Jude Law (“The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Cold Mountain”) takes on the role of Albus Dumbledore—one of J.K. Rowling’s most beloved characters—decades before he becomes Headmaster at Hogwarts. Credence, whose fate was unknown at the end of the first film, makes a mysterious return, played again by Ezra Miller. Zoë Kravitz plays Leta Lestrange, who was glimpsed in a photo as a woman from Newt’s past; Callum Turner is the famed Theseus Scamander, a war hero and Auror, who also happens to be Newt’s older brother; and Claudia Kim plays a young woman we first meet as a featured attraction at a wizarding circus.
J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film, which opens in 1927, a few months after Newt helped to unveil and capture the infamous Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. However, as he promised he would, Grindelwald has made a dramatic escape and has been gathering more followers to his cause—elevating wizards above all non-magical beings. The only one who might be able to stop him is the wizard he once called his dearest friend, Albus Dumbledore. But Dumbledore will need help from the wizard who had thwarted Grindelwald once before, his former student Newt Scamander. The adventure reunites Newt with Tina, Queenie and Jacob, but his mission will also test their loyalties as they face new perils in an increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world.
The film expands the wizarding world, moving from New York to London and on to Paris. There are also some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of the books and film series.
The ensemble cast also includes William Nadylam as a wizard named Yusuf Kama; Ingvar Sigurdsson as a bounty hunter named Grimmson; Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Skender, who runs the wizarding circus; and Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy, whom we met as Tina and Queenie’s boss at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA).
David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram are producing the film, with Tim Lewis, Neil Blair, Rick Senat and Danny Cohen serving as executive producers.
Collaborating with Yates behind the scenes, the creative teams are led by Oscar-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (“A River Runs Through It”); three-time Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (“The English Patient,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Gandhi,” the “Harry Potter” films), three-time BAFTA Award-winning editor Mark Day (the last four “Harry Potter” films, “State of Play”), four-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” “Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim Burke (“Gladiator,” the “Harry Potter” films), and Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Christian Manz (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”).
The new adventure is being filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, which has been the cinematic home of the Wizarding World since the first “Harry Potter” film. Slated for release on November 16, 2018, the film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.