Fantastic Beasts: The Secret Of Dumbledore Trailer Breakdown: Problematic World Gets A New Chapter

Well, friends, we've got a new trailer for the latest movie in the Harry Potter universe, "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore." I'm going to break it down for you while trying to swallow the venom that has risen inside me because of yet another monstrous tweet from J.K. Rowling. Before we start, here is the info on the upcoming film, which premieres in North America on April 15, 2022, and worldwide before that on April 7, 2022: 

Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

The film features an ensemble cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law ("Cold Mountain," "The Talented Mr. Ripley"), Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen.

I Know Where to Find That Beast

This is a difficult thing to write about. I have been a fan of the franchise from the very first book. I own a Ravenclaw scarf and phone case, and one of those wands that you can use to make things happen at Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World. I stood in line for books at midnight with hundreds of children and their parents and wore my Ravenclaw robes as a bridesmaid in a Harry Potter wedding. I visited the set of the second movie in the "Fantastic Beasts" series, interviewed the cast, and took the London Harry Potter tour. I was heartbroken when author J.K. Rowling revealed herself to be a TERF. (To put it in its basic terms, that's a feminist who refuses to accept that trans women are women. She's gone way beyond the basic TERF level.) I'll leave her response linked, in the interest of information. 

It hurts my heart to know that the person who created something I love so much excludes people I love so much in such an awful way. She doubled down today, and I can feel the Dementors coming for me just reading that tweet

I'll break this all down for you now before this becomes a recipe blog post where you have to scroll for an hour to get to the ingredients list. I may have to remind you here and there about who this woman really is. You've been warned.

'If You Listen Carefully Enough, the Past Whispers to You'

The trailer opens with a shot of Hogwarts and a golden snitch, a look at Albus Dumbledore from the days of Harry Potter (Michael Gambon), then his younger self, played by Jude Law. The voiceover says: "If you listen carefully enough, the past whispers to you."

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), enter Hogsmeade looking for Albus Dumbledore, but the person they find instead is his brother, Aberforth Dumbledore (Richard Coyle). As you may recall from the books (which were written by a woman who hates trans women), Albus and Gellert Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen, formerly by Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell — he's a shapeshifter) were friends and likely in love. At least, Dumbledore was. We know that Albus cared very deeply for Gellert and that we have yet to see or hear definitively about an actual relationship. No idea if we will this time, but we should. Aberforth and Albus have quarreled over that relationship because Albus and Gellert wanted to start a new order which excluded Muggles.

A bit of backstory here. Albus and Gellert became friends as teenagers and obsessed over the Deathly Hallows. They would go on to duel with Aberforth and Ariana Dumbledore was killed. Later, when Gellert found the Elder Wand, Albus had to duel him to get it and take him down.

'The World as We Know It Is Coming Undone'

That quote above means many things. The Wizarding World is going into battle in WWII and the big battle between Albus and Gellert happens in 1945. The vial Newt brought Albus at the end of the last film contained the pledge that the two could never duel, so there's that. We see Albus walking down a snowy street in what appears to be London (the cars, you know). Then we see a quick shot of what appears to be a group of wizards from different parts of the world (going by the languages on their banners) at a rally.

Then we see Grindelwald removing memories from the head of Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam who plays the man who was trying to kill Credence when he thought he was Corvus Lestrange V, now an ally to Newt) using his wand, as we hear "Grindelwald is pulling it apart with hate." Then there is a shot of Newt's buddy, the little Bowtruckle Pickett, standing on a platform near a river.

 I can't tell who Albus is talking to in the next frame — it might be Aberforth or it could be Newt — but he says, "If you want to defeat him, you'll have to trust me."

Pickett Is the Cutest and Where Can I Get One?

Then we see Pickett, Newt, and his suitcase of fantastic beasts walking up from what is probably that same river, through a very wet and dark forest. It's really, really dark, as you can see from the pic, and frankly, I'm getting tired of scenes in films that need to be lightened so I can see what's going on. That said, I do love Pickett and his tiny squeaks. (They are from a book whose author is an awful person who hates trans women.) By the way, this might be China. We've heard that we'll see the U.K., Germany, Bhutan, and China in the film, and some of their magic.

There is another street shot, following a group that I believe contains Newt, Theseus, newcomer Jessica Hicks as Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, who is a professor of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (yes, you recognize her from "The Daily Show"), and maybe Albus. It's hard to tell. Following them is Dan Fogler as Jacob, the No-Maj who is in love with the witch Queenie (Alison Sudol), who ended up joining Team Grindelwald in the last film after being told she couldn't marry Jacob. It's a mess, friends. Someone says, "This is the team that's going to take down the most dangerous wizard in over a century."

They walk through a wall, heading into what looks like a different rally, and stairs leading up to a tower. Now, this is probably not the place that wall actually took them to, but it's a trailer, so these things happen.

Magical Avengers Assemble

Newt does have his suitcase, and he appears to be alone, so it's actually very likely that this is a different part of the film. The quote continues, naming the team (though I don't think it's the team from that last group shot). The voice says, "A magizoologist, his indispensable assistant (Victoria Yeates as Bunty, the assistant from the last film who has a huge crush on Newt that isn't returned), a wizard descended from a very old family, a school teacher, and a Muggle."

All this is happening while we see Bunty walking, Grindelwald's castle, another rally (there are a lot of these and it's reminding me of rallies I'd rather not think about), Yusuf, probably the wizard from the old family, Lally (the school teacher), a shot of what I thought was the Hogwarts train, but isn't, then Jacob, Lally, Newt, Yusuf, Bunty, and Theseus on that train. Jacob points to himself when they say, "Muggle."

Newt then says to Jacob, "Dumbledore asked that I give you something."

Lookie at What Jacob Got!

That something is a wand! Jacob got a wand! (Something I always wanted, but not anymore, J.K., because you are a terrible person.) "Are you kidding me right now?" Jacob says as it's handed to him. I've said that about a certain author. A lot.

Ah, it was Theseus talking. He says, "Who wouldn't like our chances?" in a very sarcastic manner. Yeah, that tracks. 

Now we're back to scenes from Hogwarts, with a Gryffindor-robed person flying over the top of it, Jacob, Newt, Lally, and Theseus walking its halls, the four of them in a classroom watching Dumbledore whip up a little something with his wand, and then a shot of Aberforth asking Dumbledore a question. "Off to save the world, are we?" That appears to take place in Aberforth's house in Hogsmeade. 

There is an overhead shot of yet another rally. Hey, does anyone else think the Grindelwald peeps should be wearing red hats and disrupting family holiday dinners with the awful things they say?

Then we see a Phoenix flying down towards Credence. Well, he's a Dumbledore, so that makes sense. 

Is Queenie Back on the Side of the Light (Where J.K. Isn't)?

"Things are not quite what they appear." We see a clip of Queenie and Jacob embracing, Albus holding the no dueling vial with the center appearing a pinkish red, Newt looking down at many crab-like creatures in a cave, which I believe are Blast-Ended Skrewts. He moves down to the cave floor with Theseus and immediately does the same crab pose. He and Theseus creep across the ledge in that pose, with Newt giving instructions. 

Then, from behind them, a giant Skrewt claw tries to poke them off the ledge. Well, sure! Don't mess with a Blast-Ended Skrewt. Well, the big ones, anyway. The little ones are fine. 

In the next shot (after the words "The War of the Worlds" appear on the screen), Theseus and Lally are standing back to back on a small street, looking very concerned. Sure. Those words concern me as well. The real reason they're concerned is the group of wizards in hats trying to fight them. They seem to be doing fine against them, though.

Jacob Gets to Use His New Toy

Then we see Jacob at some sort of banquet and he's in the middle of a battle with his wand raised. I guess he knows how to use it? I'm not clear on the Muggles-using-wands thing. Something very bad is happening here because we're also getting a shot of Queenie with blond hair (As a blond, I really do wish blond ladies would stop doing stupid s***. It's making me want to dye my hair purple)

She looks pissed off, and that's not a good sign. Then we see Credence cutting through a web of some sort of lightning, then running up a set of stairs (maybe the ones from before?) as Mads Mikkelsen's Grindelwald says, "Our war with the Muggles begins today!" That quote from before started with "The war of the world" and ended with "begins with a secret." Ooh. 

(Let's remember how J.K. Rowling has made no secret of all about what a terrible person she is.)

We see a shot of Dumbledore's face, then Yusuf pointing his wand at the ground, and people falling, Grindelwald in green water, using his wand to fling someone, and Credence and his now-long hair running through the streets and what looks like his Obscurus blowing things up behind him. Dumbledore is trying not to hurt him but instead, hold him back. He gets blown backward by Credence.

The Room We Require

Our heroes stand on the stairs in the next shot after seeing Dumbledore in front of what looks like a Tibetan prayer wheel (though I absolutely could be wrong here and I apologize if I'm incorrect), and explain that this is "the room that we require." 

Ah, the Room of Requirement. A useful plot device written by a very bad person. 

Jacob and Newt get sucked through it, then we see a shot of someone being dangled from a dragon (though forgive me, I can't figure out which kind), and a very distressed Pickett! Don't worry, Pickett! Newt will save you!

Credence blasts out fire from his wand at Dumbledore, who appears to be fighting with London fog. Then in a different shot, we see the team with Dumbledore in the Great Hall. Newt has just said something, and Dumbledore says, "Correct. Three points to Hufflepuff." I admit that gave me a thrill, but not enough to erase the horrible things that J.K. has said about trans women.

'I Got It for Christmas'

Finally, we see the logo for the film, and fog behind it that looks like a Phoenix. So much fog in these movies! Then Jacob is sitting in the Great Hall with little students (Ravenclaw from their robes). He's got his wand, and one of the kids wants to see it. He says through a mouthful of food, "Uh uh. Very dangerous. If it got in the wrong hands, it will mess you up," as he puts it in his pocket. When the kid asks where he got it, he says, "I got it for Christmas." 

Well, that's the trailer breakdown for you. I think I've made my point. If I haven't, feel free to look up some comments on Twitter. Maybe check on your trans friends today and make sure they're okay. Maybe donate to a place that supports trans women and girls. Put some good into the world. That is real magic.