‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Cast in Beijing

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald opens in China on 16 November. The actors playing Credence, Newt, Tina, and Albus, however, did a red carpet event last week in Beijing to promote the opening almost three weeks from now and you’d think they were there for the World Premiere and that the thousands of fan were excited as they were because they had just seen the movie or were in line for their first viewing. If anyone you know disputes that the Hogwarts novels and the Wizarding World stories of J. K. Rowling are a global shared text, have them tune into this video for a look-see at the excitement about the appearance of celebrities associated with that franchise. [The conversation with the four principals begins at an hour and fifteen minutes into the two hour program, lest you want to skip their various entrances, autograph and selfie time with the uber fans, and repeated showings of various trailers.] Enjoy!

Crimes of Grindelwald: The Real Story?

“Sod’s law”? The day Kelly Loomis shares all that the trailers, merchandise, and fan detective work globally have told us about the upcoming second part of the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, Crimes of Grindelwald, J. K. Rowling tells us what the story is really about and we get scenes from the film previously not shown.

Watch and listen —

Two things jump out here. First there is Rowling’s explanation of her story-telling artistry in this adventure:

J.K. Rowling: What I consciously wanted was to have this gallery of people whose backstories we understand. We get to know their own personal struggles, biases, traumas, and in the middle of it we have Grindelwald. Now, which of these characters will hear his siren call? Which of them will say, “Yes, you have the answer to what ails me,” and which of them will say, “No, I see what you’re doing … and I don’t like what you’re doing.” And for some of these characters, he is the answer.

The next big deal is Grindelwald’s alley way meeting with a man whose face is in shadow. The alley way and the message delivered suggest Shadowman is about to do the Bad Guys a great service — and betray the Good Guys from within their own ranks. I’m sure that fandom already has a better idea than I do of who this is; my best guess is that he is a Ministry of Magic officer and turncoat aware of the Scamander Brothers’ missions. Double agent! Benedict Arnold! Judas!

Will there be anything left of this story before we get to see it in theaters?

I confess I’m much more excited about the Rowling discussion of what she is trying to do as a writer in this film, i.e., give us characters with a variety of internal strengths and vulnerabilities that will make Grindelwald’s external social and political offerings appealing or repugnant.

Which makes the idea that Queenie will fall under his influence, as I suggested a year ago in this ‘Group Portrait’ exegesis, so much more likely. She’s the only one of our Fab Four, because of her MACUSA forbidden love for No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, who would benefit, albeit only in the short term, by a change in regimes.

Complete transcript after the jump! Let me know what you think of the ‘Fallen Queenie’ Theory — and if you know who the man in the alley is… [Read more…]

Guest Post: Top Ten ‘Crimes of Grindelwald’ Plot Points Pulled from Trailers, Merchandise, and Fan Sites

Speculation about the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise is a full-time job. Warner Brothers is releasing trailers, actual film clips, and interviews with screenplay writer and actors and actresses on a daily basis and international fandom is commenting on every piece that has been shared with 24/7 zeal. Figuring out what Crimes of Grindelwald may include, consequently, is such a moving target with so many interdependent and unknown pieces, not to mention the surety that more will be available the next day that I have elected to share the released clips and interviews here but not to join in the speculative frenzy or even to track what others are saying. There’s plenty of work to be done with the Lethal White text we have in hand!

Having said that, I have asked friend of this blog Kelly Loomis who does follow the Fantastic Beast franchise news and fandom commentary quite closely to prepare a summary of what is accepted by this online community as safely certain and to share her own speculation about Crimes of Grindelwald. I hope you understand from that introduction that Kelly’s post not only includes spoilers, it is 100% spoiler content, right or wrong. Thank you, Kelly, for your work tracking all this information and speculation and for putting it together for us. Enjoy!

Top Ten Crimes of Grindelwald Plot Points Pulled from Sneak Peeks, Et Cetera

We have been given an incredible amount of information leading up to the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.  As opposed to books, there is so much “physical” evidence to help us guess at the plot and its details.  The amount of merchandise already on sale is mind boggling and with the release of each item, fans are trying to decipher what clue could be in each item.

With AT&T taking over Time Warner, they have upped the ante with advertisements for this movie – producing to this date at least five TV spots along with three trailers, a sneak peek pre-trailer and numerous magazine interviews.  Rowling herself appeared on the Today show and cast members joined her in a media blitz along with the final trailer release in New York.

Given the complexity of plot which seems to be contained in this movie, it feels more like one of her novels rather than just a movie.  It appears to be deeply layered and very reminiscent of the slow reveal we have grown to love in her written word.  By writing the screenplays, Rowling has retained much more control over what these movies entail than the Harry Potter film franchise adaptations.  Of course, she is not in control of the release of information and one wonders if they have given away more plot points than she would have liked.

I will give you a few updates on characters and then the Top Ten Plot Points for this movie given all that we have seen and read.  Proceed with caution as this is very detailed and has many spoilers!

[Read more…]

Crimes of Grindelwald Three Days Early

The premiere of Crimes of Grindelwald will be in Paris on 8 November this year, the London premiere will take place five days later on the 13th, and general distribution globally will be on 16 November when the ‘Original Screenplay’ will also be published. [‘Globally’ meaning ‘except for Japan,’ where the film will premiere with Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne in attendance on 21 November.]

All of which you probably knew. The news is that there will be a ‘Fandango Fantastic Fandom Event’ at various theaters throughout the US at which there will be one showing on 13 November. You can buy your tickets in advance (and you should if you expect to get inside the theater for the singular run). I have a ticket in hand — and look forward to sharing my thoughts with you about the second Fantastic Beasts film the next day.

Share that Fandango link with your friends so they, too, have a chance to see the film the same day (sort of!) as those privileged to squeeze into the one London theater with everyone in the UK lucky enough to have won a ticket. Again, there will be one showing three days before the 16 November official release date at theaters near you; I recommend you act now if you want a seat.

[Could this be a Warner Brothers marketing scam to juice official opening day sales? The fandom mobs at theaters on Tuesday night with their Willy Wonka golden tickets and everyone else feeling left out (and determined to see it that Friday on the official release date)? I think that’s more than likely. I still grabbed a seat, though, much as I’d prefer to resist the marketing hype, so the conversation can begin here on the 14th. I hope you’ll join me!]

Crimes of Grindelwald: Fun Speculation

As y’all know, I hope, I have not invested myself in speculation about the next Fantastic Beasts film, Crimes of Grindelwald (not much, at least, since I wrote this a year ago). I don’t follow the trailers, MinaLima art, and still photography releases because we have only scratched the surface in unpacking Lethal White, the fourth Cormoran Strike novel, and the film speculation turns on information released in exotic places, seemingly at random, and semi-continuously. I’m busy, in other words, on reading a long work that is a Rowling solo effort — and I like my speculation to be based on the clues and mysteries in fixed texts we have in hand. Full stop.

Having said that, I would be neglecting my ‘Dean of Harry Potter Scholars’ responsibilities if I didn’t acknowledge the remarkable work being done at TheRowlingLibrary (Go, Patricio!), Univers Harry Potter, and by S. P. Sipal to monitor the global release of clues, to assemble them in tweets, posts, and videos, and to offer fascinating theories about what is coming in the next movie. This is some studiously serious Wizard sleuthing.

I love, for example, Sipal’s explanation of what DDore’s wrist manacles mean in the video above, the guess work connecting the necklace on the screenplay cover and the phoenix tears mentioned in the first film’s bar ballad, and the ideas about Grindelwald’s work with the skull, his transformation into a blue dragon, and the ingredients he needs for this alchemical magic. If half of what Sipal and company have doped out comes true, actually seeing the film will be anti-climactic! Did I mention an Unbreakable Vow?

Take that as a spoiler warning before you watch the video — and please let me know if you are as startled and impressed as I am about the worldwide search for Crimes of Grindelwald clues and the teams of researchers dedicated to finding and turning them into fun theories. I’m back to a re-reading of Lethal White…