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Will Professor McGonagall Be In 'Fantastic Beasts'? Here's What Fans Can Expect

One of the fascinating things about the new Fantastic Beasts series is when and how it will overlap with the original Harry Potter books. The first film had a few references, but it was most preoccupied with setting up the next four films, as well as the American wizarding world. Now that we're settled in, the series is promising there will be more Harry Potter references and cameos linking the new series to the old. But what could they possibly be? For instance, will Professor McGonagall be in Fantastic Beasts?

Fans have been taking this talk of tie-ins to be a big hint that the Maledictus is really Nagini theory has legs and could travel all the way to the big screen. But in reality, Harry Potter is a one set series for the majority of the books. Yes, there's a trip to Diagon Alley here and there, Christmas at the Burrow, and a couple of incidents at the Ministry. But until Book 7, Harry and friends spend 90 percent of their time at Hogwarts and the surrounding area.

That means the best hope for serious crossover potential comes from the opening scene in the new trailer, when representatives from the Ministry come by to visit Professor Albus Dumbledore, who is still teaching Transfiguration during this time period.

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Already, a *lot* had been made of the apparating onto Hogwarts grounds, which former Daily Show correspondent Jessica Williams, who has a still-unnamed part in the film, promises will be explained away. But while Dumbledore does appear in Paris to confab with Newt on a rooftop, he says this is a fight he can't be involved in yet. That means he is probably going to spend most of the film stuck back at Hogwarts. Who else is there with him? We know wizards have long lives, could some of them have been already teaching at Hogwarts during this period?

For those hoping for the Divine Miss M herself, who takes the Transfiguration position when Dumbledore becomes headmaster, I'm afraid the answer is a disappointment. According to the Harry Potter Wiki, she's younger than she seems, born in 1935, making her a full decade younger than even Voldemort. She doesn't join the school staff until 1956, a full decade after the last movie in the Fantastic Beasts series will be set.

In fact, when it comes to the heads of the houses from Harry's era, most of them have been there long enough to attend school with Newt or have taught him. Pomona Sprout was also born in the 1930s. Head of Ravenclaw Flitwick was born in the 1950s, and as for Severus, fans know enough about his childhood and schooling already. The only professor old enough to have been around is Horace Slughorn, who was hired right around this time period as a young professor of Potions.

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In terms of teachers, what the series might actually do is introduce us to a few characters who were merely portraits on the walls of Hogwarts during Harry's years as a student. For instance, Dumbledore is clearly not in the Transfiguration classroom in this shot above. Those stairs are located in the Defense Against The Dark Arts room. DADA was taught by Professor Galatea Merrythought from the end of the 1800s until 1945, which just so happens was the same year Dumbledore fought Grindelwald. Coincidence?

We might also meet Armando Dippet, the Headmaster just prior to Dumbledore, when he took over in the 1950s. He became Headmaster in 1926 or thereabouts and was not exactly very good at controlling his teachers, or the comings and goings of those at Hogwarts. It should also be noted that Dippet was very fond of Tom Riddle.

Ah yes, Riddle. He won't have started Hogwarts yet, but just you wait. He'll start as a First Year in 1935, and I for one certainly can't imagine that the films will not find a way to make sure he has a cameo before the five-film series had completed.

Fantastic Beasts: The Curse of Grindelwald hits theaters on Nov. 16, 2018.