Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a fantasy film directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J. K. Rowling and Steve Kloves. It is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the eleventh overall in the Wizarding World franchise. Set several years after the events of its predecessor, the film sees Albus Dumbledore tasking Newt Scamander and his allies with a mission that takes them into the heart of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald’s army. While I find Dumbledore films sometimes a little hard to follow, I think Secrets of Dumbledore was well done and a little less complex.
It was 1932 in Kweilin, China, when Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) helped a Qilin, which is a magical creature that can see into one’s soul as well as the future, give birth. Gellert Grindelwald’s acolytes, led by Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), attacked and killed the mother and kidnaped her newborn. Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) subsequently killed the creature to harness its ability of precognition. However, unbeknownst to them, the Qilin had twins, the younger of which Newt was able to save.
Unable to battle Grindelwald due to their blood pact, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) recruits Newt, his brother Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), Ilvermorny Charms teacher Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams), Senegalese-French wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), American No-Maj Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Newt’s assistant Bunty Broadacre (Victoria Yeates) to thwart Grindelwald’s plan for world domination. Yusuf Kama is tagged to be a spy in Grindelwald’s inner circle while the others are sent to Berlin, Germany. Once there, the group witnesses Grindelwald being acquitted of all criminal charges by the International Confederation of Wizards (ICW) and subsequently running for the office of Supreme Mugwump. The ICW believes arresting Grindelwald could gain him more support, but his being defeated in a legitimate election will erode his strength.
At this point, the story is beginning to take shape. It’s all about Grindelwald working feverously to take over the world. He is undermining the German Ministry of Magic and planning to get rid of key candidates who are running against him. Newth tries his best to stop Grindswald but was unable to even large a simple complaint against him. The story and special effects start to get very exciting and the plot, as they say, thickens. I found this version of the Dumbledore story to be one of the best. It’s a showdown between good and evil, for sure. The special effects are outstanding and the acting was done in true Harry Potter style. Always intended to be “at least” a trilogy, the third Fantastic Beasts film was slated for release in November 2020. It was eventually pushed back to a July 2022 release, and much of the main cast from the first two films confirmed their involvement in March 2020. Principal photography was set to begin in early 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, eventually commencing in September 2020. FYI: Johnny Depp, who portrayed Grindelwald in previous films, initially was set to return and filmed one scene for the movie, but in November 2020 was asked to resign following a court case finding against him regarding allegations he committed domestic violence; Mikkelsen replaced him later that month.
As of 1 May 2022, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has grossed $79.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $250 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $329.6 million. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 47% based on 201 reviews, with an average rating of 5.5/10. The website’s critic’s consensus states: “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore avoids some of the pitfalls that plagued its predecessor, but lacks much of the magic that drew audiences into the Wizarding World many movies ago.” While I disagree with the Rotten Tomatoes consensus, I think Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. which is currently in theaters, is a worthwhile film and has plenty of special effects — Check It Out!
Below is a list of cast members and a definition of the characters each played
- Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander:
A British Ministry of Magic employee in the Beasts Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, as well as a self-proclaimed magizoologist. He played a part in remedying the events of a violent attack in New York City in December 1926 involving dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. He is a confidant of Albus Dumbledore, despite being an outcast from certain circles of the British Wizarding Community due to his checkered past.
- Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore:
An extremely powerful and influential wizard in the British Wizarding Community, known in the British Ministry of Magic and throughout the wider wizarding world for his academic brilliance, and teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He holds a blood pact with Grindelwald, with whom he was in love and had a close relationship as a young adult, preventing them from dueling each other.
- Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone / Aurelius Dumbledore:
The disturbed adopted child of Mary-Lou Barebone who was severely abused and downtrodden and named “Credence Barebone”. Enraged by people’s treatment of him, during the incident of 1926 he set his Obscurus parasite loose in New York City, causing widespread destruction. He survived in a tiny Obscurus fragment and was sought out by Grindelwald. He initially believed that he was Corvus Lestrange, Leta Lestrange’s deceased half-brother. However, at the end of the second film, Grindelwald claimed that his real name is Aurelius Dumbledore and that his brother, Albus, would seek to kill him. In the third film, he is identified as being Albus’s nephew rather than his brother, as he is actually the illegitimate son of Albus’s brother Aberforth.
- Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski:
An American No-Maj veteran of the First World War, owner of a bakery, friend of Newt, and lover of Queenie. When she returns he later marries her and Newt serves as his best man.
- Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein:
The pretty and vivacious renegade younger sister of Tina, who worked alongside her in the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). She is a powerful natural Legilimens. After being convinced that Grindelwald will make her dream of marrying Jacob come true, she went rogue and joined his side, eventually abandoning her lover and sister. She later returns to Jacob and they marry at his bakery. Her sister serves as maid of honor.
- Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander:
Newt Scamander’s older brother is a dedicated and loyal Auror, as well as the Head of the Auror Office in the British Ministry of Magic. He is famous for the title “war hero” for his excellent show of bravery and generosity in the First World War. He constantly tries to tame Newt into more elegance so that he is better accepted in society. He lost his fiancée Leta Lestrange in September 1927, after she sacrificed herself in Grindelwald’s rally in Pere Lachaise, Paris to save the Scamander brothers.
- Jessica Williams as Lally Hicks:
A respected Charms teacher at America’s Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald:
An infamous powerful dark wizard who caused mass violence, terror, and chaos around the globe, seeking to lead a new Wizarding World Order based on his strong belief in wizarding superiority. He had a close relationship with Dumbledore as a teenager. Mikkelsen replaces Johnny Depp, who played Grindelwald in the first two films, due to the latter’s libel case with News Group Newspapers Ltd. over his alleged domestic abuse of his ex-wife, Amber Heard. 
- Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein:
An American MACUSA Auror and currently Head of the Auror Office in MACUSA. She is Queenie Goldstein’s sister and Newt’s love interest. She played a role in thwarting Gellert Grindelwald during the Obscurus incident of 1926, for which she and Newt were initially blamed.
- William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama:
A French wizard of Senegalese descent from an old Wizarding family and an ally of Newt, who previously attempted to kill Credence while falsely believing him to be his former stepfather’s son, Corvus Lestrange V.
- Victoria Yeates as Bunty :
Newt Scamander’s indispensable Magizoology assistant.
- Poppy Corby-Tuech as Vinda Rosier:
Grindelwald’s loyal right-hand follower.
- Richard Coyle as Aberforth Dumbledore:
Albus Dumbledore’s younger brother and owner of the Hog’s Head Inn. He is also Credence’s biological father.
- Oliver Masucci as Anton Vogel:
The current Supreme Head of the International Confederation of Wizards (ICW) and Minister of Magic for Germany.
- Maria Fernanda Cândido as Vicência Santos:
Candidate for the post of Supreme Head of the ICW and Minister of Magic for Brazil.
- Dave Wong as Liu Tao:
Candidate for the post of Supreme Head of the ICW and Minister of Magic for China.
- Fiona Glascott as Minerva McGonagall:
A teacher at Hogwarts and Albus Dumbledore’s colleague.