After the seven “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling were completely adapted by Warner Bros. into eight movies, fans of the Boy Who Lived felt that the world was finished with cinematic Wizarding World. They were pleased when Rowling wrote the plot for a new film, a prequel chronicling the Wizarding involvement in World War II, starring a wizard magi-zoologist and a young Albus Dumbledore. “Fantastic Beasts” had the feel of a new franchise, with the first film breaking the box office in 2016. Its 2018 follow-up was less than stellar however, making the installment (of five) a must-hit. Thankfully, the first trailer feels hopeful.

Entertainment Weekly tells us that the first trailer for Warner Bros. and Wizarding World’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is getting positive reception from “Harry Potter” fans. This third of five planned “Fantastic Beasts” films had a longer development-production gap with its predecessor than the one between first and second. While 2018’s “The Crimes of Grindelwald” still had solid box-office earnings, it was the lowest of all Wizarding World-set movies. Audiences were wondering if J.K. Rowling’s debut as a screenwriter had crashed. But as the visuals indicate, the story is back in good form.

Following the events of the second film, anti-Muggle Wizarding sentiments have escalated under the agitation of Dark Wizard Grindelwald (Madds Mikkelsen replacing Johnny Depp). His only magical equal, Hogwarts professor Dumbledore (Jude Law), is magically bound to be unable to confront him. Thus Dumbledore’s former student Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) serves as his agent. Newt’s Wizarding “Suicide Squad” tasked to defeat Grindelwald includes his No-Maj friend Jacob (Dan Fogler), brother Theseus (Callum Turner), fellow Hogwarts professor Lally Hicks (Jessica Williams), and American love interest Auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston).

But Grindelwald is heavily guarded from attack by Tina’s traitor sister/Jacob’s ex-girlfriend Queenie (Alison Sudol) and powerful but mentally disturbed wizard Credence/Aberforth Dumbledore (Ezra Miller). While this secret team struggles to take on the Dark Lord, Grindelwald’s machinations spur the world to the brink of war. This conflict he hopes would exterminate all Muggles/No-Maj for his “Greater Good” of Wizarding folk.

J.K. Rowling has help with “Harry Potter” veterans to steer “Fantastic Beasts” back to fan adoration. She shares screenwriting duties with the Potter-films’ Steve Kloves. David Yates, director of the latter eight “HP” installments and previous “Fantastic Beasts” installments, again takes the helm for “Secrets of Dumbledore,” which will premiere next year, on April 2022.

Image courtesy of Empire Online