The first official trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has finally been conjured up, and while 2018's Crimes of Grindelwald left a bad taste in our mouths, we can't deny that we're excited to be going back to the Wizarding World all over again! But will any characters from the Harry Potter era show up in the movie? Let's find out!
Directed by David Yates - who has helmed every installment in the Wizarding World movie franchise since and including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third entry in the spin-off series that started in 2016 with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was inspired by an A-to-Z encyclopedia of Magizoological animals.
While that film was met with much financial and critical success, the second entry in the series - Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - was panned by fans and critics alike, for its incoherent storytelling, poor characterization and baffling plot turns. Nevertheless, that didn't stop Warner Bros. from greenlighting a second sequel, and it looks like the established story will continue.
If you've not yet checked out the brand-new trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, here it is:
As you can see, it looks like a similar affair to the last movie, at least from a tonal and stylistic perspective. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it's probably a good idea for these spin-off installments to distance themselves from the Harry Potter movie series as much as possible. But with that said, it looks like the series is planning on doing anything but.
What could have been very much its own animal, Fantastic Beasts has quickly become a 'prequel' series to the Harry Potter movies. While we always knew that they would operate in prequel 'territory', being set several decades before Harry ever steps foot inside Hogwarts and all, the first movie at least suggested that this new series would tell unique and original stories.
However, not unlike Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, and even the Star Wars prequel trilogy to some extent, it looks like Fantastic Beasts plans on eventually reaching the point where all its characters will get into their 'starting positions' for the Harry Potter era. As such, it's possible then, that some characters from Harry Potter could appear in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
But how? And why? And aren't these movies set in 1926 and 1945? Sure, but this is the Wizarding World we're talking about, a place that is no stranger to characters who are unnaturally old, age-defying elixirs, Sorcerer's Stones, Deathly Hallows, Time-Turners, dark creatures, and many other things that would allow the filmmakers to shoehorn in anyone they wish!
So here are five Harry Potter characters who could appear in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore!
5. Professor Minerva McGonagall
Let's start with the most obvious. Professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith in the Harry Potter movies) has already appeared in the Fantastic Beasts series, having appeared very briefly in Crimes of Grindelwald (in which she's played by Fiona Glascott). However, her cameo was met with much confusion, which is no surprise considering that the film is set in 1927, and according to canon, the Transfiguration teacher wasn't born until 1935...
Needless to say, fans still expect answers from J. K. Rowling, who, until Crimes of Grindelwald was released in 2018, never seemed to trip over her own chronology and continuity where Harry Potter and its incredibly rich - and impressive - history is concerned. With that said, in a tweet following the release of that film, she did say of the third entry, "Questions are answered."
So is it possible this will be one of them? Perhaps. After all, Professor McGonagall does equip Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) with a Time-Turner in Prisoner of Azkaban, so it's possible that her appearance in the Fantastic Beasts series can be explained away by time-travel, which would in turn open up so many doors, and probably raise far more many questions than it answers!
4. Ariana Dumbledore
If we're going to bet our precious Galleons on which of these five characters will show up in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, it would be Ariana Dumbledore, sister to Albus and Aberforth. She doesn't appear in any of the movies (not even in any flashbacks), but we do get to see an enchanted portrait of her in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Ariana plays a significant role in Dumbledore's past, and is likely one of those secrets the title is referring to. Born in 1885, the half-blood witch was the youngest of the three Dumbledore children. After being attacked by Muggles as a child, her father took revenge and was consequently thrown into Azkaban.
Ariana, however, became unable to control her magical abilities, and in Dumbledore's new home in Godric's Hollow, wound up becoming something of a hermit. But life only got darker for Ariana, and she was accidentally killed in a three-way duel with both of her brothers in 1899... So while she can't appear in the new movie in the flesh, a flashback is probably on the cards.
3. Bathilda Bagshot
It's not unreasonable to compare the character of Bathilda Bagshot to Professor Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), at least at the time of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, in which the Dark Arts professor is actually Barty Crouch Jr. (David Tenant), using Polyjuice potion. In other words, when we meet Bathilda Bagshot in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, it's not actually her!
In what is perhaps one of the eeriest scenes in the entire series, the old lady in question turns out to be Lord Voldemort's giant snake Nagini. Nevertheless, Bathilda Bagshot is very much a real character in the Wizarding World, famous for having written several books about Albus Dumbledore over the course of her life.
As a renowned Wizarding World historian, she's also the author of the famed History of Magic. But more importantly, she was born in the mid-to-late 1800s, which would make her an adult woman during the Fantastic Beasts timeline. She also happens to be the great aunt of Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen, previously Johnny Depp)…
We can't really talk about which Harry Potter characters might appear in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore without addressing the fantastic beast in the room - yes, Fawkes! He might seem like an inconsequential character, but we must remember a few things: first of all, he plays a pivotal role in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and secondly, he belongs to Dumbledore!
Not only that, but if the series wants to stick to its 'Fantastic Beasts' roots (although it has already derailed and gone off on quite a big tangent, with Newt Scamander clearly being kept around for consistency purposes only), then we see no reason why Fawkes shouldn't be brought into the fold. And there's no better time to introduce him than in a movie that's going to focus on Dumbledore.
Fawkes also has some truly incredible powers, in that his tears possess healing abilities (as seen in Chamber of Secrets), and that he can 'remake' himself from his own ashes, eternally bound to being born and born over again, dying by his own flame, and being reborn from the ashes of those flames. But whether or not this ability will be integral to the plot in the new film remains to be seen.
1. Tom Riddle
We all know where the Fantastic Beasts series is headed - as we mentioned earlier, it's already behaving like a full-on prequel series to the main Harry Potter set of films, just like The Hobbit trilogy and the Star Wars prequel trilogy. And we get it - not only is nostalgia a big seller, but so is the idea of a new series of films leading into one you're already so deeply invested in.
Where exactly Fantastic Beasts intends to stop along the timeline is unknown, but we know that it's currently operating between 1926 and 1945, and that Warner Bros. has greenlit a total of five movies (which doesn't appear to have changed). Even if the final two movies don't move too further along, we still might get an epilogue of some kind that's a bit closer to the Harry Potter series.
But we do know that Tom Riddle (known more famously as Voldemort) was born in 1926, which would make him an infant at the time of the first two Fantastic Beasts movies. So is it possible that the main antagonist of the Harry Potter series will appear in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore? Well, seeing as it's allegedly set years after Crimes of Grindelwald, then of course.