Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them turned out to be a perfectly charming film. Ably directed by Harry Potter vet David Yates, it introduced Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler as a group of wizards — and one muggle — one might want to watch over the course of four or five subsequent films.
Which is good because a second film is on the way.
According to Deadline, principle photography has commenced on the unnamed sequel. Jude Law joins the Wizarding World as a younger Albus Dumbledore, former teacher of Redmayne’s Newt Scarmander and former friend of Johnny Depp’s racist wizard Grindelwald. Other new faces include Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson , William Nadylam, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson and Kevin Guthrie. Ezra Miller also returns Credence, a young man terribly conflicted about magic. Yates returns as director while J.K. Rowling continues to explore her own world as screenwriter.
The film will see Newt reunited with his friends from New York as Grindelwald escapes custody and begins to build his army of like-minded wizards in London and Paris. The plot will also see Dumbledore and Scarmander working together to oppose Grindelwald’s plans.
Reuniting the main four characters of Fantastic Beasts is the main charm of a sequel, but I wish Grindelwald — an acknowledged shape-shifter — had been recast. Colin Ferrell played the part better and Depp, at this point, feels uninspired. Perhaps playing a villain will re-energize the actor, whose tentpole performances of late have been marred by a clear lack of interest and reports of his troubling personal life.
At the same time, Newt, Tina, Queenie and Jacob are a quartet of characters I want to see again. And the four actors’ rapport is definitely strong enough to combat whatever Depp or Grindlewald has planned for them.
The Fantastic Beasts sequel opens on November 16th, 2018.