The year 2016 will go down in wizarding world legend, as it was the year fans got not one new book from the Potterverse, but two. The first (and the more popular one) was the script for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, despite it not actually being written by J.K. Rowling. The second was written by Rowling herself, though it wasn't quite as popular: the screenplay to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But it must have been popular enough, as the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald screenplay, Rowling's second entry into the scripted genre, will be arriving later this year.
Like the first one published from this prequel series, the screenplay will arrive in bookstores the same day as the movie releases in theaters — Nov. 16, 2018. While it didn't sell nearly as well as Cursed Child's screenplay, the original Fantastic Beasts screenplay got good reviews, with some reviews going so far as to say that one learned more about the character's motivations reading what was on the page than one did on the screen. One can only hope Rowling's second entry into the genre will only improve her skills. (Prior to Fantastic Beasts, she had only written novels, which is a very different style of writing.)
According to Pottermore, which broke the news:
Set in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, the second of the five-film series that began with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them moves from New York to London and on to Paris. Expanding on earlier events that helped shape the wizarding world, there are some surprising nods to the Harry Potter stories – so make sure you keep your eyes peeled.
Like the first one, the hardcover version of the screenplay will be sold via Amazon and is already available for pre-order in the U.S. and in the UK. E-book versions will be available through the Pottermore website.
Scholastic, which will be publishing the screenplay for the U.S. market, gives us the full synopsis of the plot:
At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
While the characters on the page are left up to the readers' imaginations, on screen, Eddie Redmayne will continue in the role of Newt Scamander. He'll be rejoined by his pals from the first movie — Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol). Despite having his memories wiped at the end of the first film, Dan Fogler also returns as Jacob Kowalski and clearly remembers enough. Also, we have Ezra Miller returning as Credence Barebone. Those who only saw the movie might be surprised, but screenplay readers will know there was a deleted scene where Barebone is revealed to have survived. Johnny Depp remains as Gellert Grindelwald.
Jude Law is taking over the role of Dumbledore, though as a fan of the first series, I'll have trouble hearing Dumbledore in any voice other than Michael Gambon. (Sorry Richard Harris.) The newcomers to the story include Callum Turner as Newt's older and more accomplished brother, Theseus; Zoë Kravitz as Newt's former girlfriend and now Theseus' fiancée, Leta Lestrange; plus Claudia Kim, the blood-cursed “Maledictus" who has become the subject of many fan theories.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald arrives in theaters, and in bookstores, on Nov. 16, 2018.