Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to take us back to the Wizarding World in just a few weeks’ time. Directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, the movie stars Eddie Redmayne as Magizoologist Newt Scamander, who enters New York City in 1926 with a case full of magical creatures. Co-starring in Fantastic Beasts is Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein and Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, both of whom feature alongside Redmayne in three newly released TV spots that can be viewed above, and below.
Fantastic Beasts will be the first of five films in a new franchise, and it tells the story of what happens when Newt’s magical case is accidentally left open, and those magical creatures escape into a city that’s already highly fearful of Witchcraft. The No-Maj’s fear of the unknown magical side of their city is fueled in part by the New Salem Philanthropist Society, of which Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton) is president. The TV spots don’t really showcase any substantial new footage, but there is something rather magical about them all; serving to build up anticipation for the film’s release.
There are, however, several points worth noting across the second and third TV spots. Colin Farrell plays the role of Percival Graves in the movie, an Auror who serves as Head of Magical Law Enforcement at the Magical Congress of the USA (MACUSA). He’s a powerful Wizard, who is disgruntled over the secrecy that the Wizarding community must live in. In fact, as he says himself, he refuses to bow down any longer. In all we’ve seen of him thus far; in trailers and posters, Percival Graves looks dark and sinister, which could well mean he’s on the side of Grindelwald.
Gellert Gridelwald is a dark Wizard, infamous in Harry Potter lore for fighting a duel with Albus Dumbledore. The pair were once friends but fell out when Grindelwald went in search of The Deathly Hallows to make him the most powerful Wizard of all. Dumbledore won the duel, and came into possession of Grindelwald’s Elder wand. With the recent announcement that Johnny Depp would be joining the cast in a substantial role from the second movie onwards, it is widely expected that he will play the dark Wizard, and Fantastic Beasts will set up the story of Gridelwald’s uprising.
With this in mind, watching the last 2 clips above, it looks as though it’s feasible to assume that the words “war is coming” might not only refer to the war between No-Maj’s and Wizards, but to Gridelwald’s uprising, too. In fact, another Fantastic Beasts co-star, Ezra Miller, strongly hinted that this could be the case. Could Percival Graves be serving Gridelwald in a similar way that Lucius Malfoy served Voldemort?
Finally, the third TV spot opens with the doom laden words “The man I warned you about is getting closer.” 2 seconds in, this line of dialogue is followed by a shot of a tall, male figure walking swiftly away before he quickly apparates. It’s rumored that Depp will make a cameo in Fantastic Beasts, and it’s also rumored that his only appearance is a shot of his back. It should be stressed that this is far from confirmed, but certainly that opening shot is set up to make viewers think that it could be Depp. However, if you watch the second TV spot closely, you’ll note that Percival Graves apparates in a similar manner. Odds are that it’s Farrell in the shot, but it’s still fun to speculate and to let Warner Bros. tease us a little. One thing is for sure though; initially, Fantastic Beasts looked set to be a gentle, fun, family film with a cutesy story involving Redmayne meeting some magical creatures. What this beast has evolved into, however, is a darker, deeper film than anyone could have possibly imagined.