“The Secrets of Dumbledore” trailer dropped today, and let’s just say, it dropped plenty of Easter eggs for fans to dissect before its 2022 release.
The third installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, based in the world of Harry Potter, has seen its share of stumbling blocks. Starting in 2019, author and creator J.K. Rowling faced controversy over her continued involvement with the series after being labeled transphobic for supporting biological women’s rights. This coincided with ongoing accusations of domestic abuse against lead actor Johnny Depp (who plays Gellert Grindelwald in the first two movies) by his ex-wife Amber Heard and resulted in his ultimate departure from the series in November 2020.
But the controversy didn’t stop there. In April 2020, Ezra Miller, who plays Credence, was shown on video appearing to choke a fan at a bar in Iceland. Miller remains a part of the franchise, but Depp was replaced by Danish actor Mads Mikkelson, who you’ll recognize as Le Chiffre from Casino Royale.
But despite these setbacks, the third film in what is planned to be a five-film series finally has a trailer and a release date – April 15, 2022. For those of us who are still looking forward to watching the series, the new trailer that dropped today has a lot of juicy details to break down.
What We See
When we last left the Fantastic Beasts heroes, Grindelwald had just escaped them in Paris after seducing orphan Credence (Ezra Miller) and mind-reader Queenie (Alison Sudol) to join him. A lot of fans were underwhelmed by the second film, claiming it didn’t have a clear sense of plot or direction. (I don’t agree, but the criticism still stands.) Although we know the story will eventually culminate in Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s duel in 1945, we only got introduced to the younger Dumbledore in person in the second film.
Now, it appears that Jude Law’s young Dumbledore will play a much larger role in the third film. (Which makes sense, given it’s called The Secrets of Dumbledore.) There are plenty of Easter eggs in the trailer that are sure to thrill fans of the original Harry Potter series. Here’s what you might have missed:
1. We’re getting to see Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth.
The trailer shows Newt and his brother in a dinghy, old pub, looking for Dumbledore. As fans will recognize, this is obviously The Hog’s Head in Hogsmeade, the small village outside of Hogwarts. There is a portrait in the pub that opens to a secret passageway into Hogwarts. So it’s safe to assume that Newt and brother Theseus need to sneak into Hogwarts to see Dumbledore. (We know they make it there, as we see later in the trailer.)
2. Newt and Theseus go back to Hogwarts.
A certain infamous room makes its appearance in the trailer… let’s say one that fulfills your “requirements.”
3. Newt’s assistant Bunty appears to have a bigger role.
"Perhaps you should take off your shirt?" Bunty suggests in The Crimes of Grindelwald, as Newt attempts to calm their injured kelpie in his creature menagerie. We may barely have gotten to see Bunty in that film, but it’s clear she’s getting a bigger role in this movie.
Will her unrequited crush on Newt become more of a major plot point? In an Instagram Live interview with Mugglenet, actress Victoria Yeates seemed to reveal as much: "She’s still very in love with Newt, that’s not a surprise. Her character is expanding, she’s more included...She’s a really beautiful character. She’s very pure and truthful and loyal and innocent, and she’s got integrity. She’s very sweet, and she definitely fits a space that isn’t being filled yet in terms of the kind of person she is. It feels like she’s going to grow in confidence and get more to do.”
4. We’re getting to see more (and new!) creatures this time!
What would a Fantastic Beasts movie be without a set of bizarre and possibly loveable magical creatures? We see one scene, reminiscent of Harry and Dumbledore seeking out a Horcrux in the sea cave, where Newt and Theseus must dance in order to get past a group of crab-scorpions. They appear to be guarding a cave filled with a massive magical scorpion. Perhaps it’s Aragog’s long-lost cousin.
5. Yusuf Kama has joined the team – but the studio is keeping it quiet.
Yusuf Kama is introduced in the second film as Leta Lestrange’s revenge-bent secret brother. Although Leta was destroyed by Grindelwald at the end of the last movie, it appears that Yusuf’s involvement with Newt is far from over.
Yusuf is pretty clearly featured in the trailer, but his name is not listed in the main actors under the movie’s IMDB page, nor is The Secrets of Dumbledore listed on actor William Nadylam’s personal page. Does this mean the studio is trying to keep this character’s role quiet, even though he’s featured in the trailer? We’ll just have to see.
6. Jacob is still searching for Queenie.
A quick sequence shows Queenie embracing Jacob, but several things hint that this may be a dream or a memory rather than a real moment. First, Queenie appears to be wearing an outfit we see her in at the end of the first film – a matching pink hat and coat. Her hair is also still golden. However, later in the trailer, we see Queenie as she clearly is currently – and her hair is platinum now.
7. There’s a least one new main character – and we don’t know anything about her!
The trailer shows two new main cast members – “a wizard descended from a very old family,” who we assume to be Yusuf Kama, and “a schoolteacher.” The female schoolteacher is shown in multiple scenes with the main group, but we have no idea who she is! She obviously isn’t a younger version of any professor we know from Harry Potter’s time at the school, so it’s a complete unknown.
But probably the most major thing I noticed in the trailer, which fans must surely be wondering, is:
Where Is Tina?
Tina Goldstein is introduced to us in the first film as Newt’s romantic interest, and according to Harry Potter lore, she eventually becomes his wife. Her character was distinctively elusive during the second film, however, spending most of her time angry at Newt and in the underbelly of Paris trying to find her missing sister, Queenie.
Newt and Tina never really got a chance to resolve the conflict that had originally caused their fight (Tina thought Newt, not his brother Theseus, was engaged to Leta Lestrange after reading an inaccurate newspaper headline). And on top of that, we now have the stress of Tina losing Queenie to Grindelwald, and perhaps blaming Newt and his friend Jacob for this. It’s hard to say if her character is being left out of the film entirely, which would be very strange, or if the studio simply wants to keep her storyline very under-wraps before the film’s premiere.
Personally, I hope it’s the latter, as the main team of Newt, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob are who we hope to see happy and reunited at the end of the series.
What Will We Learn about Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s Relationship?
As fans of the original Harry Potter series know, the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, and the mysterious event that ended in the death of Albus’ sister Ariana, is one of the great fan mysteries in the series. We know that the vial Grindelwald keeps with him has something to do with it, and perhaps is the reason Dumbledore cannot attack him directly.
Fans can hope that more of their past and relationship are explored in this film, more than what little we know from Rita Skeeter’s salacious Dumbledore biography.
Along with learning the truth about Ariana, we need to find out the truth about Credence (a.k.a. Aurelius Dumbledore). Did J.K. Rowling add in another, new Dumbledore for the sake of the story? Or is it (as I suspect), that Grindelwald has given Credence a false identity to cling to in order to turn him into the perfect weapon against Dumbledore? We’ll hopefully find out in April when the film hits the big screen.