Yesterday, Warner Bros. held a global fan event for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where the studio revealed an extended IMAX sneak peek and author J.K. Rowling dropped some huge news, revealing that the Fantastic Beasts trilogy has been extended to five movies. The event featured a number of cast and crew members during a live streamed Q&A with participants in both London and Los Angeles, where director David Yates dropped another bombshell. The filmmaker revealed that this movie will feature the beloved Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, though we might not actually see him on the big screen.
Since the movie takes place in 1926, we know it's impossible for Harry Potter and his Hogwarts friends to surface, since this takes place decades before they were even born. Many fans had wondered if Dumbledore would be able to make an appearance, and it seems that the Headmaster will feature briefly during one particular scene. Here's what David Yates had to say about Dumbledore's possible appearance in Fantastic Beasts, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, though it sounds like he is mearly being mentioned by name only.
"We do mention Dumbledore in this movie. He features a little bit in a wonderful scene between Colin [Farrell] and Eddie Redmayne."
Unfortunately, the director wouldn't shed any light on what happens in this scene, or where it fits within the story. The IMAX sneak peek video also provided a big hint at another wizard who will be featured in this story, the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. It was established in the original Harry Potter stories that Gellert Grindelwald was once friends with Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, which Harry Potter learned about via a chocolate frog card while he was aboard the Hogwarts Express. This movie will introduce Grindelwald at the height of his power as he calls for all European wizards to assert their domination over the muggles. Here's what David Yates had to say about Grindelwald's presence in Fantastic Beasts, and beyond.
"He's going to become a much more prominent part of the stories going forward. Any more than that, I really couldn't say."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident...were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds. The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.
It was also revealed at the fan event that Jon Voight plays a character named Henry Shaw Jr., a "No-Maj" newspaper magnate, with the actor describing his character as a "devoted father" who is a "strong fellow" and "very stern." Dan Fogler revealed that his character is also a No-Maj, a baker named Jacob Kowalski, with the actor revealing that he connected to this character because his grandfather was a baker on the Lower East Side of New York. J.K. Rowling also teased that Fantastic Beasts 2 will take Newt Scamander to "another big capital city" that is not New York, although she wouldn't add any further details.