With po­lit­i­cal al­le­gories and per­sua­sive vil­lains, will Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald dis­rupt the wiz­ard­ing world for­ever?

Empire (Australasia) - - Contents - 15 NOVEM­BER OLLY RICHARDS

Newt is back — and no, that’s not the name of one of the beasts — in an ex­clu­sive new pic.

THERE WAS AL­WAYS a po­lit­i­cal edge to Harry Pot­ter, even with all the drag­ons and broom­sticks; Volde­mort was noth­ing if not a fas­cist. How­ever, the way pro­ducer David Hey­man talks about

The Crimes Of Grindelwald, the se­quel to 2016’s Fan­tas­tic Beasts, makes it sound like we might be leap­ing into a po­lit­i­cal thriller.

“It’s about the dan­gers of ab­so­lutism and fun­da­men­tal­ism,” says Hey­man.

“We see that in Grindelwald.” To re­cap, he was the dark wiz­ard ar­rested at the end of the last film, re­vealed to be Johnny Depp in a Colin Far­rell dis­guise. A year on, he’s on the brink of es­cap­ing pri­son and try­ing to unite the mag­i­cally pow­ered to crush the merely hu­man. His means to achiev­ing this, un­like those of Pot­ter’s Volde­mort, are not just fire and fury. “For me, Grindelwald is a scarier vil­lain,” says Hey­man. “He’s very per­sua­sive. One can see the ra­tio­nale in his ar­gu­ments — which doesn’t mean his method­ol­ogy is right.”

On the other side are in­ter­na­tional wiz­ard­ing gov­ern­ments at odds and in dis­ar­ray. “Newt [Ed­die Red­mayne] is re­fus­ing to have any­thing to do with the Min­istry of Magic [af­ter the events of the last film].” Find­ing Grindelwald’s weak spot is go­ing to need a new agent, in the shape of Dum­ble­dore, whose shape is now a lot younger and more Jude Law-y. He and Grindelwald have a com­pli­cated, ro­man­tic his­tory, mean­ing Dum­ble­dore knows him bet­ter than any­one and how to use Newt to get close to him. “An im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber about Dum­ble­dore,” says Hey­man, “is that he is a master ma­nip­u­la­tor. He ma­nip­u­lated Harry.” Magic can solve a lot of things, but some­times it’s no match for a bit of po­lit­i­cal ma­noeu­vring.


David Hey­man spoke to us on 25 June while over­see­ing Beasts post-pro­duc­tion.

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