We still have quite the wait until Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters this November, but that certainly hasn't stopped hardcore Potterheads from uncovering what they can about the upcoming sequel. Thanks to the recent reveal of the cover for the film's published screenplay, we finally have a somewhat clearer idea of what to expect from The Crimes of Grindelwald. The Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay cover has plenty of tiny clues about what Newt Scamander and his friends are up in the 1920s Wizarding World.
The focus of the elaborate screenplay cover, which will be released on Nov. 16 alongside the film, is clearly the movie title, but you can pick out subtle references to the world of Harry Potter if you look closely. The Eiffel Tower has a prominent spot, alluding to the fact that Crimes of Grindelwald takes place in Paris. Executive producer David Heyman confirmed last November that the film is set "almost entirely" in the City of Light, but it will also include scenes in London and New York, where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them took place.
Across the cover, gold designs also seem to resemble magical creatures, and Entertainment Weekly points out that winged animals appear to be stationed at the top of the Eiffel Tower. As evident by the first film's zoo-like atmosphere that Newt carries around in his bag, there are plenty of exotic creatures that we haven't been introduced to yet, but the best guess at what the flying figures could be is a phoenix. Anyone who has read the original Potter series knows about the re-birthing significance of a phoenix — could it also refer to the surprise transformation of Grindelwald at the end of Fantastic Beasts?
Flocked by a pair of cats, the Deathly Hallows symbol also appears at the bottom of the illustration. As we learned in Book 7 of the Harry Potter series, the Deathly Hallows represent three objects that make their owner the master of death. Included among the rare items is the Resurrection Stone, allowing one to bring loved ones back from the dead. Are you noticing the same theme I am? There's definitely a major focus on resurrection and second chances in this drawing, and Grindelwald's growing power is somehow tied to those concepts.
In case anyone was in doubt about this cryptic, secret meaning, the cover also has a drawing of a locket with the initials 'NF' embedded on it. Just as it was quite easy for fans to trace a mysterious set of initials back to Regulus Black in the original series, Potterheads have linked 'NF' to Nicholas Flamel, the creator of the Sorcerer's Stone. Used to produce a life-extending elixir, the Stone was ultimately destroyed at the end of Harry's first year at Hogwarts, but The Crimes of Grindelwald could always explore the deeper circumstances explaining why the Stone was so heavily protected by the time of the first Potter book.
Further establishing Grindelwald's allegiance as a dark wizard, the Dark Mark overlooks the other illustrations at the top of the cover. However, if you think about it, the symbol seems a little out of place in this context. Representing Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Dark Mark likely wouldn't have even existed in the time frame of the Fantastic Beasts sequel. The first film took place in 1926, aka Voldemort/Tom Riddle's birth year. The Crimes of Grindelwald is expected to pick up right where the last film ended. Should we read into the Mark's presence on the cover that much?
The trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald doesn't shed any light on the subject other than teasing out Albus Dumbledore's known relationship with Grindelwald. While I'm very much looking forward to watching a scruffy Jude Law in the film, the cover's signs pointing toward rebirth and resurrection are even more intriguing right now.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on Friday, Nov. 16. The screenplay edition of the film will debut on the same day.