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With a New ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ Trailer, the Harry Potter Universe Goes Dark

They've definitely upped the action and the stakes are feeling way higher this time.

Warner Bros Studios

The second trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropped at San Diego Comic-Con and gave Harry Potter fans a lot to chew on. It’s pretty well known that, more often than not, every evil doer in the Harry Potter universe has a kind of eugenic vendetta against muggles (regular old humans with no ability to use magic), but this trailer is making it look like the next entry in the Fantastic Beasts series will take that theme to a much darker, more genocidal place.

“Magic blooms only in rare souls. Still, we must skulk in the shadows,” Johnny Depp as Grindelwald intones over the trailer. “But the old ways serve us no longer.”

Those familiar with the Harry Potter books and films know that one must get up early to out-evil Voldemort, but Grindelwald, the coming film’s menacingly gaunt antagonist, looks to give the serpent-like baldy a run for his money. Voldemort’s main goal in the original Harry Potter movies was simple: Kill Harry and become the most powerful wizard ever. Grindelwald’s goals feel less selfish. Having watched American wizards be persecuted by muggles, Grindelwald has hatched a plan for magicians to take over the world. 


Naturally, Newt and a young Dumbledore will oppose crimes against the magic-less, but their relationship in the trailer is strained, with Dumbledore playing things worryingly close to the literal vest. That disconnect leaves Newt — perpetually wide-eyed and nervous — in a dark world on his own (well, surrounded by critters). Whether or not the movie will be appropriate for young children remains to be seen, but the trailer makes it look more like a David Fincher punch in the gut than a childish romp.