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Film REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - ★★★★★

Get yourself more clued up on the third chapter as all the secrets and lies from the Potter universe come tumbling out.

Director: David Yates

Writer: J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves based on A Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, William Nadlyam, Katherine Waterston, Mads Mikkelsen.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Themes: Magic, 1930s, Hogwarts

Albus Dumbledore assigns Newt and his allies with a mission related to the rising power of Grindelwald.

The sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), it is the third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts film series and the eleventh overall in the Wizarding World franchise.

The film received mixed reviews from critics.

In Cinemas Now - Rated 12A

Spidey swings into action to battle a fistful of big bads from his backstory.



Hollye (Age 12) - ★★★★★

"I really enjoyed it. I think anybody who was familiar with the Fantastic beasts films and the Harry potter films would have enjoyed it too. I liked the return of all the characters and the animals. It would have been confusing if you didn't know previous or future story lines so I was glad that I did."

Have you seen it yet?


What's the backstory to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore?

Back in 2011’s Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part II, when the boy wizard vanquished noseless nemesis Voldemort with a nifty ‘Expelliarmus!’ spell, it was a bittersweet moment. The Potter movie saga had been part of our lives for a decade. Now J.K. Rowling’s magical odyssey had reached its conclusion.

Or so we thought. Five years later, the world’s greatest fantasy novelist struck back, penning the screenplay for 2016’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, and blowing the Potter-verse wide open. “I think I was partly informed by a rise in populism around the world,” she told The New York Times.

A prequel of sorts, set in the 1920s, director David Yates’ first spin-off introduced Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne: The Theory of Everything, Les Miserables): a shy young ‘magizoologist’ whose misplaced suitcase of enchanted animals wreaks havoc across New York.

All very furry/funny. But the saga got serious with 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald, which charted the titular dark wizard’s rise to power – and future Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore’s bid to stop him.

Now, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore is the showstopping third act you’ve been waiting for – and promises to be more enlightening than a Lumos spell.


How does the new Fantastic Beasts movie shift the saga onwards?

Those early films have all been building to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore. The new Fantastic Beasts movie promises a good/evil clash to make The Lord Of The Rings’ battle for Minas Tirith look like a playground scuffle, and such universe-shaking character reveals that you’ll have to weld your lips shut afterwards.

All I can say is that the biggest secret of the Wizarding World – Dumbledore’s mystery – will be revealed,” explained David Yates in a Tokyo publicity event last December. “And you’ll need to watch the movie to find out what it is.”


What do we learn from the Fantastic Beasts 3 trailer?

With the action shifting to the ’30s, the new Fantastic Beasts movie shows us a troubled society hurtling towards World War II, in which Grindelwald has more followers than Ariana Grande.

“The world as we know it is coming undone,” worries Dumbledore. “Grindelwald is pulling it apart with hate.”

The not-exactly-crack squad Dumbledore assembles for the fightback won’t have the dark wizard shaking in his boots.

“This is the team that’s going to take down the most dangerous wizard in over a century?” gapes Newt’s older brother Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner: Assassin's Creed, Victor Frankenstein) as they race towards destiny.

“A magizoologist, his indispensable assistant, a wizard descended from a very old family, a school teacher – and a muggle. Who wouldn’t like our chances…?”


What other theories are there about Fantastic Beasts 3?

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore looks like more of a globe-trotter than its predecessors. In the Fantastic Beasts 3 trailer, we see Newt’s team shimmy through a cave infested with stingy blast-ended screwts, while a spinning prayer wheel suggests they’ve trekked to Tibet. It’s a suspicion backed up by Warner’s official synopsis, which confirms the film “will explore the magical communities in Bhutan, Germany and China”.

Just as tantalising, there’s solid evidence this new Fantastic Beasts movie will plug into real-life historical events, with that same synopsis revealing the plot will “lead up to the Wizarding World's involvement in World War II”. Was Grindelwald’s hand behind it all?


Who's in the Fantasic Beasts 3 cast?

Just as Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter, the character of Newt is unthinkable without Eddie Redmayne’s nervous energy. Meanwhile, as the young Dumbledore, Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes, Captain Marvel) brings both gravitas and rebel spirit.

“There’s a sense of humour and mischief to his character,” the British actor told Entertainment Weekly. “A dash of anarchy, a sense of what’s right and what he believes in, and a sense of mystery. He also has a certain heaviness about him.”

Dan Fogler (Kung Fu Panda) is back as loveable non-magical baker Jacob Kowalski. But is he still carrying a torch for powerful mind-reader Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol: The Lucky One) now that she has one foot in Grindelwald’s evil army?

Siblings could be a problem in this new Fantastic Beasts movie, too. Like any older brother, bossy Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner) keeps Newt in line. As Dumbledore’s troubled sibling, Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller - The Flash in DC Extended Universe) is a bitter and unpredictable presence whose loyalties shift with the wind.

There’s also a big question-mark. As Queenie’s sister, Newt’s eventual wife and the emotional fulcrum of the saga, why haven’t we seen Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston: Logan Lucky) in the Fantastic Beasts 3 trailer? The smart money says Yates is holding back something important – so watch this space.


What do we know about Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald?

With Johnny Depp parting ways from the Fantastic Beasts franchise in 2020, a heavy-hitter was needed to fork the villain in a fresh direction. Step up, Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). The Danish actor has flesh-creeping form, as blood-weeping Bond villain Le Chiffre in 2006’s Casino Royale and permanently hangry serial killer Doctor Lecter in the hit TV series Hannibal.

Now, Mikkelsen brings a dead-eyed dread to Gellert Grindelwald, with the Fantastic Beasts trailer showing him teasing wisps of memory from the ears of rival wizards with a flick of the wand.

“To try to bring [Johnny Depp]’s intensity and his way of doing it into my work is a no-go,” the actor told Total Film. “I have to find my own, because his is unique, and I just have to let that be, and find a different path.”


You’ve followed J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World since the first Potter book published in 1997. Now, it seems the saga is set for a secrets-dump you can’t afford to miss.

The writer herself has always been tight-lipped on the plotlines of her universe. But while Rowling’s three-word teaser for the new Fantastic Beasts movie is brief, it couldn’t be more tantalising. “Answers are given…

Have you seen the Wizarding World movies? How do you rate them?...

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