November 16 marks the one-year countdown to the premiere of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel. Set for a five-film franchise, Fantastic Beasts 2 will pick up where the first film left off, with several major characters returning for an action-packed jaunt around Europe. As we approach the release of Fantastic Beasts 2, we’ve rounded up everything we know so far about the next installment, due out in 2018.
1. New details reveal the movie’s plot.
“… 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.”
In fact, on November 15, the Fantastic Beasts Twitter account revealed a set photo featuring two wands, with one that looks just like the Elder Wand. Fans are speculating the second is Grindelwald’s, alluding to the epic battle between him and Dumbledore.
2. We can expect a number of new cast members.
Jude Law signed on to play young Dumbledore, with director David Yates singing his praises: “I know [Law] will brilliantly capture all the unexpected facets of Albus Dumbledore as J.K. Rowling reveals this very different time in his life.”
Additionally, Brontis Jodorowsky will join the cast as Nicolas Flamel, the man known as the maker of the Sorcerer’s Stone. Callum Turner will play Newt’s brother Theseus Scamander, and the family members of two Death Eaters who served Lord Voldemort will be appearing in this film as well: Derek Riddell will play Torquil Travers and Poppy Corby-Tuech will play Rosier.
While their roles are not yet defined, we also know of several other new cast members: Call the Midwife star Victoria Yeates will play Bunty; Cornell S. John plays Arnold Guzman; and Wolf Roth is a character named Spielman. Finally, Jessica Williams (The Daily Show) and Fiona Glascott (Resident Evil) also have currently unnamed roles in the sequel.
3. Several familiar faces will return for the sequel.
Eddie Redmayne will reprise his role as Newt Scamander, and Johnny Depp will return as Grindelwald. In addition, Katherine Waterston will play Tina Goldstein; Alison Sudol is back as her sister Queenie; and Dan Fogler returns as No-Maj Jacob Kowalski. Carmen Ejogo also returns as Magical Congress of the United States President Seraphina Picquery. Fans will be excited to learn that Ezra Miller will once again play Credence Barebone, who “makes a mysterious return” in the sequel. Finally, Zoë Kravitz returns as Leta Lestrange, with Yates promising fans that “we will see a bit more of her in the second movie.”
4. The sequel to Fantastic Beasts won’t pick up right where we left off.
Last year, Rowling confirmed via Twitter that there will be a time jump between the events of the first movie and the beginning of the sequel. We know that Grindelwald’s rise to power will be a major plot point in the sequel, and since Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in 1945, we can assume the sequel will take place somewhere between the 1926 and 1945.
5. The film will take place in several countries.
6. The second installment will bring fans back to some beloved locales.
Hypable reports that the second film will take viewers back to Diagon Alley for the launch of Newt’s book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Held at Flourish and Blotts — a location Potterheads know as the bookseller for Hogwarts students — Newt’s book signing is promoted via a poster in Diagon Alley, which the official Fantastic Beasts account shared on Twitter.
7. Rowling and David Yates will once again collaborate on this film.
Similar to the first Fantastic Beasts installment, Rowling wrote the screenplay for the second film, and director Yates is once again behind the camera, making the magic happen.
8. Expect some nods to the original Harry Potter series for longtime fans.
According to Warner Bros., the sequel will contain “surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories that will delight fans of the books and film series.” We can’t wait to see what they may be!
Do you plan on seeing Fantastic Beasts 2? Tell us in the comments!
Editor’s note: This article was updated on November 15 and November 22 to reflect new details about the upcoming film.