Two years ago, the magical creature-focused Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them resurrected the Potter franchise. Having been five years since viewers watched Potter defeat Voldemort and put his own son on the Hogwarts Express, the wizarding fandom erupted.
The David Yates-directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows writer and wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he travels through New York working on his magical creatures book. Potter himself would read Scamander’s book, called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, at Hogwarts 70 years later. While most of the first film was about Scamander and the critter collection he carried in his charmed briefcase occasionally reeking havoc in New York, viewers were briefly introduced to a notorious villain only mentioned in the Potter films — Gellert Grindelwald.
With the big unveiling of Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts installment, The Crimes of Grindelwald looks to shift its focus to the historic uprising of dark magic. Naturally, with knowledge obtained from the aged Dumbledore and his cohorts in the original series, fans knew that a young Dumbledore (Jude Law) would appear in the Fantastic Beasts films.
However, the trailers leading up to the movie’s November 15 theatrical debut have confirmed a few other Potter character appearances.
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Potter meets a classmate named Cho Chang (Katie Leung). Potter quickly develops a crush on Chang, but repeatedly finds himself second-fiddle to Hufflepuff student and Goblet of Fire competitor, Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson).
After Diggory’s death at the hands of Lord Voldemort, Chang mourns the tragedy in the following film, Order of the Phoenix. Potter creates a secret after-school defense against the dark arts workshop and consoles Chang (now his “student”) with a kiss. Following this encounter, viewers don’t see much more of Potter’s old crush and he seems to forget her after spending more time with Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright).
Clearly it would be impossible for the young Chang who briefly stole Potter’s affection to be in a film set 70 years before their meeting, but with only days to go before the release of the second installment of Fantastic Beasts, a full cast list has been uncovered with some interesting information. Among the several characters listed is someone named Auror Chang. With several other actors playing roles simply titled “Auror,” Auror Chang stuck out to fans and hints at a possible relation to Cho Chang.
The Carrows are likely more memorable among Potter fans who read the books. The night of Dumbledore’s murder at the astronomy tower includes more conversation between the Death Eaters than shown in the movies. In the books, the Carrows, specifically Amycus (Ralph Ineson), mock the headmaster amidst the assault on Hogwarts, right before Snape kills him via the Avada Kedavra curse.
Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) mentioned the villainous pair in the second Deathly Hallows film. Longbottom tells Potter that Hogwarts had changed with Snape as headmaster and Alecto Carrow (Suzie Toase) as Professor of Muggle Studies, changing the curriculum to circulate around anti-muggle propaganda. She and her brother were also in charge of disciplinary action by means of the Cruciatus curse and beatings, which Neville received for defying the Carrows wishes for him to harm a first-year student.
The cast list only shows one Carrow for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film and does not include a first name for the character. However, this character could pave the way for Alecto and Amycus’ alliance with the Dark Lord. This would be an interesting element to include in the later Fantastic Beasts series, as we do not know too many details about Voldemort’s Death Eaters.
Despite never actually making an appearance, Nicolas Flamel was heavily involved in the first Harry Potter film as the creator of the Sorcerer’s Stone and close friend of Dumbledore. At the beginning of The Sorcerer’s Stone, Potter and Hagrid go to Gringotts’s bank to collect Potter’s inheritance from his parents. Before arriving at the designated vault, the pair stop at vault 713, home to a small and concealed parcel. Hagrid asks that Potter not tell anyone about vault 713.
However, Potter and his friends later learn that the parcel contained the Sorcerer’s Stone. The alchemist Nicolas Flamel created the stone to achieve immortality. With whispers of Voldemort’s possible return, Dumbledore attempts to protect the stone at Hogwarts, which ultimately leads to the stone being destroyed and Flamel’s coincided death.
In a trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald, Scamander and his muggle sidekick Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), are shown with the frail-looking alchemist. It is unclear what his role will be in this film, though we’ll assume it won’t be anything major at this point. That doesn’t mean Flamel (Brontis Jodorowsky) couldn’t have a larger role with the stone in later films of the series as they lead up to the events of the first Potter movie.
Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) served as one of the most important Hogwarts professors in the Potter films. In the first movie, she helps recruit Potter as a seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Later, she helps him avoid expulsion for driving a flying car into the Whomping Willow and being seen by muggles. In the final film McGonagall defends Potter against Snape and other death eaters in the legendary Battle of Hogwarts, despite Voldemort’s deadly threats.
It was just recently revealed that McGonagall would be in The Crimes of Grindelwald. Irish actress Fiona Glascott will play the Transfiguration professor.
The announcement of the return of one of the most beloved Potter characters thrilled fans, but also caused some confusion. The digital publishing website Pottermore and references from the book series suggest that McGonagall would not have been born until 1935 — eight years following the events of The Crimes of Grindelwald.
It seems that author J.K. Rowling has decided to rewrite some of the professor’s history to fit her into the Fantastic Beasts saga. It is unclear at this time what her role will be in the upcoming film, but she may serve some significance in the famed tale of the battle for the elder wand.
The final trailer for the Fantastic Beasts sequel was released late September and displayed the darkest wizard of the era in action, also revealing all-new creatures. Among the new fantastic beasts was Nagini, who Potter fans know as the lethal snake and final Horcrux that served alongside Lord Voldemort. She aided Voldemort in several of his murderous proceedings, including that of Severus Snape and the massacre at Gringotts’ in Deathly Hallows Part 2.
The Crimes of Grindelwald reintroduces the sinister serpent as a human woman played by Claudia Kim. Many questioned how Nagini could be human, but Rowling took to Twitter to explain saying she is a “Maledictus,” or a human woman with a blood curse who transforms into an animal, and one day does so indefinitely.
Fans are eager to see the evolution of the Dark Lord’s slithering sidekick, as well as how she went from circus performer to trusted carrier of the final piece of Voldemort’s soul. And they won’t have to wait much longer, as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters in a few short days on November 15, 2018.