Director David Yates had previously announced that former best friends (and maybe lovers) Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and Dumbledore (Jude Law) would play significant roles in the Fantastic films to come, but now we can confirm that the second film in the prequel franchise, which primarily takes place in Paris, will find a young Dumbledore teaming up with his former student Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to track down the dark wizard.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Didn’t Grindelwald get captured by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) at the end of the first film?” Because he did. Well, it appears that the xenophobic dark wizard made a “dramatic escape” in the period between the first Fantastic Beasts and the second. According to the synopsis, he’s been “gathering more followers to his cause — elevating wizards above all non-magical beings.”
The wizarding world’s only hope is Albus Dumbledore, a professor at Hogwarts who once called Grindelwald his dearest friend (and childhood crush). “But Dumbledore will need help from the wizard who had thwarted Grindelwald once before,” the premise reads, “his former student, Newt Scamander.”
It’s unclear if the Fantastic Beasts franchise will explore Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald beyond the friendship that was established in the Harry Potter series, or if the beloved wizard will be openly gay at all. Back in 2007, J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore, whom she publicly addressed as gay upon the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was in love with Grindelwald and that crush “added to his horror” when Grindelwald revealed his true colors.
Rowling, who wrote the screenplay for the Fantastic Beasts sequel, teased that “there’s lots to unpack” in Grindelwald and Dumbledore’s relationship. “I will say that you will see Dumbledore as a younger man, and quite a troubled man because he wasn’t always the sage,” she told ScreenCrush last year. “As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch the space.”
Meanwhile, American wizards Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol), along with Muggle baker Jacob (Dan Fogler), are all set to return for the sequel but an “increasingly dangerous and divided wizarding world” will test their loyalties. Credence (Ezra Miller), the troubled Obscurus from the first film will also make a mysterious return. Zoe Kravitz joins the cast as Leta Lestrange, Newt’s estranged friend from Hogwarts.
The untitled sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is set to hit theaters in November 2018.