'Fantastic Beasts' Sequels: Everything We Know About The Next Four Movies

Walking out of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, I found myself confused. This is the first installment of an announced five-film series but the movie somehow feels like a standalone one-off movie. I know critics like to complain about films which seem to exist only to set up a potential franchise, but this felt to me like the exact opposite. As the characters concluded this adventure, I felt like I was shutting the book on their stories. What could the Fantastic Beasts sequels possibly be about? Who might they focus on? Let's take a deep dive into the Wizarding World to discover what we know and can speculate about the Fantastic Beasts sequels.

Fantastic Beasts Deleted Scene

The following article contains spoilers for the first Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film and the Harry Potter book series. I also highlight excerpts from previous articles posted on /Film.

How Many Movies Are Planned?

Originally envisioned as a trilogy of films, it was recently revealed that JK Rowling and Warner Bros now plan to make five Fantastic Beasts movies.

Why Did They Expand to Five Movies?

Money? Writer J.K. Rowling explained that the reason she expanded to five films from three was because she found the story arc needed five films to be told correctly:

"Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be more than one movie, but we were feeling our way. Then, there came a point in the drafting of our story where I said to David [Yates], 'You know, this feels like five movies, and I think I'm pretty certain about that.' It's ambitious to tell it in five to be honest because we're spanning 19 years, but I can see an arc to five – so that's how it happened. It came out of the material."

david yates fantastic beasts

Who Will Direct the Fantastic Beasts Sequels?

David Yates, who directed half the Harry Potter movies and returned for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be back for the next movie and probably the next three as well.

What Will the Fantastic Beasts Sequels Be Titled?

We don't yet have a title for any of the Fantastic Beasts sequels, but star Eddie Redmayne has revealed that the sequels will keep the "Fantastic Beasts and" subheading, with the second part of the title being changed out for the various sequels.

When Will They Be Released?

The sequel is already scheduled to hit theaters in November 2018, with the third film planned for November 20th, 2020. If we're looking at the release pattern, this probably means we'll see the fourth Fantastic Beasts in 2022 and the fifth and final movie in 2024.

fantastic beasts book

What Do We Know From the Source Material?

Unlike the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts is not adapted from a series of highly successful narrative books. Fantastic Beasts is adapted from a textbook on the magical creatures of the wizarding world that author J.K. Rowling penned for charity. While the book was never intended for the big screen, Warner Bros circled back to Rowling hoping to make more films in the Harry Potter world and Rowling pitched the idea of a series of films following the author of this textbook, magizoologist Newt Scamander.

According to the "About the Author" section of the book, Scamander became a magizoologist because of his own interest in fabulous beasts, as well as the encouragement of his mother, an enthusiastic Hippogriff breeder. The Hufflepuff was expelled from Hogwarts, and later joined the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.

One fan asked Rowling why Newt can carry a wand, practice magic, and do work for the Ministry of Magic when he was expelled from Hogwarts, especially since Hagrid wasn't afforded those liberties. Her response: there are four more movies. Here is a bit more info on the known character's future history:

His career included a brief stint in the Office of House-elf Relocation, a transfer to the Beast Division, the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, the 1965 passage of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, and many research trips for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. His contributions to Magizoology earned him an Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979.

Newt retired in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet "Kneazles": Hoppy, Milly, and Mauler. He had a grandson named Rolf, who married Luna Lovegood some time after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

What Do the Harry Potter Books Tell Us About Newt?

While the character appeared briefly in some of the books, making an appearance on Harry's Marauder's Map, in house portraits, and on a Famous Wizard card, this is his first real story. And Rowling penned the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay, her first.

Fantastic Beasts Sequels - Eddie Redmayne

Will Eddie Redmayne Be the Primary Hero for the Whole Franchise?

One of my biggest problems with Fantastic Beasts, despite how much I enjoyed it, was that Newt Scamander's story already felt tangential to the story that Rowling is building up to. The story leaves all of our heroes split up, and it seems like getting the gang all together again and having Newt continue as the main character might feel incredibly contrived.

Producer David Heyman has admitted, "I don't think [Newt will be at] the heart of all of them. I think he'll be part — so will Tina, Queenie, and Jacob — will be part of the next one." Further confirming what all the Harry Potter fans have assumed, he clarified in answer to a follow-up question, "[Dumbledore] and Credence and Grindelwald. I think they will be the main players."

Who else may return for the next films? We do have some hints of who may return and what to expect from the story.

We do know Johnny Depp, and Zoe Kravitz are among those scheduled to return.

Dan Fogler told us that his "original contract was for three films with a chance of four."

And Rowling has confirmed that Alison Sudol's Queenie Goldstein will return in the next movie.

Fantastic Beasts Deleted Scene

Is Credence Still Alive?

At the end of the first film, Aurors end up defeating the Obscurus, despite objections from Newt Scamander not to hurt Credence so that he might coax the Obscurus out of him. However, it turns out that maybe Credence is not entirely gone. After his apparent destruction, Mr. Scamander notices a wisp of the Obscurus, with a flash of orange light within it, floating away from the scene of the action. It's not clear what that might mean for the future, but there's at least a hint of his possible survival. It turns out that such a tip was originally slated to be much more apparent in a scene that ended up being deleted from the final cut of the movie. David Yates said this about the original scene:

We actually had a scene, which we cut, which was Credence going to a boat, to get on a boat somewhere else. But we cut that, because we didn't want to have it be such an, 'Ahhh, here we go.'

Yates added that his choice of transportation was "maybe a boat with Newt, maybe not," which implies that Credence may be following Scamander, perhaps in hopes that he might be able to help him with the dark force he possesses. Another quote said during the press conference seems to suggest that Credence may have a much larger role in the upcoming series:

....once she found a story that she really wanted to tell, passionately, which centers on Credence ultimately, she flew...

And you can imagine how Credence could continue to play a part in this series. Newt and Tina would probably want to help Credence harness his power, while Grindelwald would likely want to exploit it for his own means.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Theme

When Will Fantastic Beasts 2 Take Place?

The five-film story arc will span "19 years" in the Wizarding World. Considering the first film is set in the year 1926, that means the last film will end in 1945.

Yates told us that the sequel would take place not too long after the events of the first movie: "A little bit of time [has passed]. Two years later. A year or two later, I should say." So sometime in 1927 or 1928.

Where Will Fantastic Beasts 2 Take Place?

The sequel will follow Newt to Paris. Yates told us that the reason for this is "Grindelwald is from Europe and it feels natural to take it [there] — and we've never been to Europe before. And Paris thematically has a kind of romantic element about it, and if you're gonna have a romantic element, it seems absolutely right to set a movie in Paris. So that's one of the reasons."

Dope Zoe Kravitz

Which Romance Will Be Focus of the Sequel?

The first film is pretty light on romance, which makes us wonder what romantic relationship may be the focus of the second film.

In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we get a little bit of information about Newt Scamander's romantic history. While Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie Goldstein are exploring the inside of Mr. Scamander's magical suitcase full of creatures, the latter stumbles upon a black and white photo of Zoe Kravitz's character, who we learn is named Leta Lestrange. And it's clear that Newt had a crush on Lestrange, if not a full-on romantic relationship that didn't end well. Queenie, a skilled Legilimens who can read minds without using her wand, senses what happened between Leta and Newt and expresses her sympathy. But she also offers up a detail that makes us wonder just what happened between Newt and Leta. Queenie sweetly tells Newt that Leta was a "taker" and he deserves someone who is a "giver."

Yates has revealed that Leta Lestrange is a larger part of the second movie.

She's quite complicated and damaged and confused and Newt is absolutely still in love with her, so she has a kind of power over him, and she, yeah, she's a kind of tragic figure, so we will see a bit more of her in the second movie.

According to the Fantastic Beasts screenplay, Leta Lestrange had an experiment she was conducting at Hogwarts that went wrong, and it endangered the life of a student. Newt Scamander took the blame, and it appears that's why he was expelled from the school.

The Lestrange family were all loyal follows of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books, believing in preserving pure bloodlines of wizards. The wicked Death Eater Bellatrix Lestrange (the cousin of Sirius Black, whom she killed) married into the family and had no problem fitting in with their evil beliefs.

fantastic beasts

Where Will the Other Fantastic Beasts Films Take Place?

The filmmakers have said that each of the Fantastic Beasts films will take place in a different major city. But they'll likely be sticking around Europe, Heyman told us. "We haven't really talked about it, but I suspect we'll be, with the specter of World War II looming large in the not-too-distant future, it wouldn't surprise me if Europe is quite central to the series." He hastened to add, "But I have no idea."

Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts

Who Will Be the Main Villain of the Fantastic Beasts Series?

This might be the easiest question to answer of the bunch. The only real loose thread from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them hinting at where the story might go comes in the form of an appearance from Johnny Depp. In the film, Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) is revealed to actually be Gellert Grindelwald in disguise. In Fantastic Beasts, Grindelwald is on a search for the Obscurus, which he was hoping to use it to spark a war between the wizarding world and the non-magical world so that wizards might finally rule over everything and show their superiority to humankind.

While Grindelwald is arrested at the end of this film, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that somehow he will escape and be the big threat for this entire film series.

Gellert Grindelwald

What Do We Know About Gellert Grindelwald?

Gellert Grindelwald is considered one of the most dangerous dark wizards of all time.  After being expelled from Durmstrang Institute for some disturbing work in the dark arts, Gellert Grindelwald went to Godric's Hollow to live with his aunt Bathilda Bagshot (who appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I). It's there that he sparks a friendship with a young Albus Dumbledore, and begins making plans to find the Deathly Hallows.

Dumbledore's motivation came from the fact that his sister Ariana was attacked by three Muggle boys when they stumbled upon her practicing her magic as a young girl. They wanted to lead a wizarding revolution to end the International Statute of Secrecy and creating a benevolent global order led by wise and powerful witches and wizards that dominated Muggles. Fans have come to believe that Ariana Dumbledore may have been an Obscurial, and she could be the reason that Gellert Grindelwald is seeking out another one in New York City.


What Will Be the Main Focus of This Five-Film Series?

Most fans think that the Albus Dumbledore vs. Gellert Grindelwald battle will be the focus of the Fantastic Beasts series of films. Their partnership fell apart after the two were involved in a three-way duel that resulted in Ariana Dumbledore's death. Following the inadvertent casualty, Grindelwald fled. That was 1899, 27 years before the events of Fantastic Beasts.

With Dumbledore poised to play a significant part in the Fantastic Beasts sequels, we're bound to learn much more about the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Also, let's not forget that Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in 1945 (according to his Chocolate Frog trading card) which is the same year this series is expected to end in.

albus dumbledore michael gambon

Will Dumbledore Be Gay in the Movies?

With a younger Dumbledore set to play a role in the five-part Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, which takes place decades before Harry Potter's parents were even born, the opportunity has arisen for Rowling and her collaborators to actually to actually address Dumbledore's sexuality within the wizarding world fiction itself. JK Rowling hasn't confirmed it but seems to suggest the films will address it:

This is obviously a five-part story, there's lots to unpack in that relationship. [...] You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man. We'll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space."

Who Will Play Dumbledore?

Casting is underway to find an actor to play a younger Albus Dumbledore, as the films take place roughly 60 years before the first Harry Potter films. There haven't been any names mentioned as being in talks for the role yet, but we put together a wishlist.