It’s been 20 years since the Harry Potter universe blasted onto our screens, and while we’re still re-watching the films — and, of course, re-reading the books — that defined an entire generation, we are always hungry for more.
Thankfully, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has done a very good job at whetting our appetites for magic since the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows II, premiered in 2011. Newt Scamander and his band of misfit magic makers (and a muggle best friend in Jacob, played by Dan Fogler) have taken us on epic, high-stakes adventures. But it’s the upcoming cinematic release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore that has us particularly excited.
Promising a return to the magic of the original Harry Potter film franchise, we’re finally getting an origin story of sorts for Albus Dumbledore, played by Jude Law — and whew, we’re not even sure if we’re ready.
Over the course of seven books (and eight movies), Albus’s past was hinted at but never explored fully. We all know we love him, but we’ve never really been told where he came from and why he is the way he is in any great detail. It’s clear he’s seen the ends of the wizarding world’s darkness multiple times and vanquished it by any means necessary, but he’s also compassionate and firm. We want to know more and this film appears to do that.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore promises to return us to the many lights and shades of the Harry Potter world and finally answer all of our burning questions about Dumbledore’s past, while transporting us back to a world we’ve missed so much.
The Wizarding World Is in Dire Danger
A theme that’s very familiar to Harry Potter fans is the wizarding world being in a world-ending amount of danger. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore delivers this in spades. It centres around (you guessed it) Dumbledore as he dukes it out with dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (played by Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen), to save the world as he, in Dumbledore’s own words, is “pulling it apart with hate” and declares war on muggles.
The Power of Memory
Dumbledore’s storylines have always included the power of memory, which is why he has a pensieve in his office at Hogwarts and uses it with Harry on multiple occasions. The film’s creators want us to immediately understand that memory will also play a key role in this movie, and both of the movies’ trailers start with visuals of the Albus we know from the original film franchise (played by Michael Gambon) and a voiceover saying, “If you listen carefully enough, the past whispers to you.”
In the context of this movie, we assume this is alluding to Albus’s school time friendship with Grindelwald and the blood pact they made, swearing they would never fight one another. While it isn’t yet clear exactly what this means for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, we can guess that this past relationship will play a central role in the film.
We also know that Credence Barebone (played by Ezra Miller) also appears in this film, who Grindelwald once manipulated to use his dark powers as an obscurial against Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. And though Dumbledore worked with Newt, in turn, to protect Credence from Gridelwald, it’s unclear whether he was also aware that Credence is also a long-lost Dumbledore. Will we see the three Dumbledores in this film team up against Grindelwald? Here’s hoping!
We Meet Dumbledore’s First Army
If there’s one thing we know about Dumbledore (besides that he’s one of the most skilled wizards there is), it’s that he loves an underdog. You only have to look at his relationship with Hagrid — and Snape to some extent, if you consider him losing out on bagging Lilly to James Potter worthy of earning underdog status — to see that he believes in the power of people’s hearts, far above skill alone.
As Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore tracks Albus’s earlier years, where he battles to beat the film’s Big Bad, Grindelwald, he assembles a rat pack crew of magical (and not-so-magical, with Jacob) crusaders, who also want to save the world. Enter: Dumbledore’s (First) Army.
True to the Fantastic Beasts movies we’ve seen before, there appears to be a thread of humour that runs through this film. You can’t quite blame Theseus Scamander (played by Callum Turner) for being sceptical of the strength in Dumbledore’s Army, which includes, “A magizoologist, his indispensable assistant, a wizard descended from a very old family, a school teacher, and . . . a muggle.”
From the trailer, we can glean that Dumbledore leads Newt’s (and now his own) crew into the Room of Requirement, which is another exciting call back to the original franchise. And though it’s at least a generation earlier, it’s exciting to see yet another army-for-good using this room to beat the bad guys.
We’re Heading Back to Hogwarts
If you didn’t guess from the mention of the Room of Requirement, we’re heading back to Hogwarts in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. After all, it couldn’t be a story about Albus Dumbledore without at least some of the action going down at his wizarding school.
The first time we see the school is in the very first shot of the very first trailer, and we actually see it from an angle we’ve never seen before. Immediately, this tells us we’re heading back into the beloved world we basically grew up in and has us speculating that we’ll be seeing Hogwarts in a whole new light in this film.
Just as he does with Harry, Hermione, and Ron, Dumbledore is showing off the capabilities of the castle and using his hometown advantage to take down the bad guys. Plus, seeing Dumbledore cast spells in The Great Hall is enough to send a shiver of excitement up any Potter fan’s back — it feels big.
Some Familiar Faces Make an Appearance
It’s more accurate to say that some familiar characters will be making an appearance in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. In the film’s second trailer, we hear the unmistakable accent of Minerva McGonagall (played by Fiona Glascott) — and it’s she who warns Albus about Grindelwald’s dark plans.
Albus’s brother Aberforth also makes an appearance, which is extra exciting since we only met him briefly in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows II, and can only hope his appearance in the new trailer means we’ll learn more about the elusive brother in this film.
A phoenix also appears multiple times in the trailers, first when flying overhead as Credence looks out over a snowy landscape, and again hovering in front of Albus, who appears to be close to a fight. Of course, we also see some icons from the original franchise return, like the Snitch, Slytherins being Slytherins (as per), magic moments happening in the Great Hall, and the Monster Book of Monsters also rearing its grizzly face.
We Might Finally Learn More About Dumbledore’s Brother
Aberforth Dumbledore is mostly absent from the original Harry Potter franchise, though we do know he’s the owner of the Hog’s Head Inn in Hogsmeade, and was also a member of the original Order of the Phoenix during the First Wizarding War.
The first trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore begins with Newt and his brother Theseus walking through a snowy Hogsmeade, where they enter a pub and ask to speak with Albus Dumbledore, only to find his brother Aberforth behind the bar. Though this doesn’t give much away in terms of how he may be a part of the bigger plot in the film, it’s enough to get us excited about learning more about their elusive relationship and the Dumbledore family.
You can return to the wizarding world in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, only in cinemas on April 7, and we recommend you see it twice (how else will you spot all the Easter eggs?). And because we know you’ll want to see this movie as soon as it’s released, you can head here to book your tickets, right now.