Fantastic Beasts 2 takes Harry Potter fans back to Hogwarts

Harry Potter fans were introduced to the wizarding world of America in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Now it's back to Britain in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Cooper
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The gang's all here

In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second of what might be a five-movie series, magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) returns. This time, he's back home in Britain. In addition to Redmayne, the cast includes Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Callum Turner, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Johnny Depp.

The film opens Nov. 15 in Australia and Nov. 16 in US and UK.

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Back to school

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the alma mater of Harry Potter and friends, is back in the spotlight.

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Newt Scamander met Tina Goldstein (played by Katherine Waterston) in the first film, and she's back to help out in the sequel.

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He's my brother

The Scamander brothers Theseus (played by Callum Turner) and Newt (Redmayne) appear to share a warm relationship.

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New wizard

William Nadylam plays Yusuf Kama, a French-African wizard.

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Up on the roof

Jude Law, seen here with Redmayne, plays Albus Dumbledore. Harry Potter fans know him as Hogwarts' headmaster, but here he's just a professor of Transfiguration.

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Young Dumbledore

Young Dumbledore (Law) had a mysterious relationship with dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

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At the circus

This film introduces viewers to the Paris Circus Arcanus, a wizarding circus and sideshow.

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Portrait of the headmaster as a young man

Fans should expect a different Dumbledore than they know from his time with Harry. "He's a maverick and a rebel and he's an inspiring teacher at Hogwarts," director David Yates told Entertainment Weekly. "He's witty and has a bit of edge. He's not this elder statesman."

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Dumbledore's Army

In the sequel, a younger Dumbledore enlists Newt to stop Grindelwald from raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings.

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Controversial casting

Some fans were upset that Johnny Depp (shown here with Poppy Corby-Tuech) was cast in the series after Depp's former wife, Amber Heard, accused him of verbal and physical abuse. In 2017, author J.K. Rowling defended the casting, and the ensuing attention to her post temporarily crashed her website.

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Thank you for being a friend

Newt Scamander has a loyal American friend in World War I veteran Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler).

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Love and Leta

Zoë Kravitz plays Leta Lestrange, who's engaged to Theseus Scamander, Newt's brother. Newt was once in love with her, too. Or is he still?

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Wizards just wand to have fun

Eddie Redmayne revealed that he had to get a movement coach to help with his wand skills for the Fantastic Beasts films.

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Follow me

French-English actress Poppy Corby-Tuech portrays Vinda Rosier, Grindelwald's loyal right-hand follower.

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Getting along swimmingly

Yes, the fantastic creatures of the series will be back, with new ones introduced.

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Vive la France

Part of the film is set in Paris, where Newt attempts to track down the mysterious Circus Arcanus.

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On the outs

Newt is considered an outcast from certain circles of British wizarding society due to his checkered past.

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Roaring '20s

The second film is set just a year after the first, in 1927. Newt agrees to help his former teacher, Dumbledore, despite not really knowing what he's getting himself into.

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Claudia Kim plays a Maledictus, a person whose blood is cursed, and who will eventually turn into a beast. The specific beast she plays is well-known to Potter readers and has already caused some controversy.

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Bowtruckles are back

The bowtruckle looks like a small tree branch, but it's really a magical creature that lives in trees and eats insects.

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Sing it, sister

Alison Sudol plays Queenie Goldstein, Tina's sister, who's in love with Newt's friend, Jacob.

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Magic in the city that never sleeps

Let's head back to the 2016 film that started the series. In "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," British magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels from Britain to New York in 1926 only intending to stay a few hours. Little does he know what's in store for him.

Scamander is born 80 or so years before Harry Potter, but he still has an influence on the young wizard. His "Fantastic Beasts" textbook is used at Hogwarts while Harry is a student there.

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Newt finds a friend

Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) meets Scamander when he arrives in the US to discover new magical creatures. When they meet, she has been demoted to federal wand permit officer at MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America.

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Finding friends

Scamander must find friends fast among the Americans. Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Goldstein are among the star-spangled best.

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Queen of magic

Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) is Porpentina's younger sister. The sisters live and work together.

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Enemies of magic

The Barebone family (Samantha Morton, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Ezra Miller and Jenn Murray) hates magic and the wizarding population and will do anything to eliminate them.

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Madam president

Seraphina Picquery, described by J.K. Rowling as a "famously gifted witch from Savannah," is played by British actress Carmen Ejogo. She is president of MACUSA.

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Right-hand man

Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) is the right-hand man to MACUSA President Picquery and heads up the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

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Talk about gangstas

The 1920s marked the height of America's gangster era, and it didn't just affect the No-Majs (No-Magics, the American equivalent of British Muggles). Goblin Gnarlak (Ron Perlman) runs The Blind Pig, a magical Harlem speakeasy.

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Keep on Bowtrucklin'

Scamanger and No-Maj pal Kowalski examine a Bowtruckle. The branch-like tree guardian looks harmless, but will gouge out your eyes if you threaten its tree home.

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All the news that fits

Henry Shaw Sr. (Jon Voight) is a 1920s newspaper magnate who disregards word of a magical community in the US.

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Naughty Nifflers

Nifflers may look adorable. But as Hagrid taught at Hogwarts, you wouldn't want one as a pet. They might just destroy your home while on the hunt for shiny objects.

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Size matters

Some of the "Fantastic Beasts" that Scamander chases are tiny. Others, including this rhinoceros-like Erumpent, are enormous.

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Don't mess with the graphorn

The graphorn, a hump-backed creature with two golden horns, can repel most magical spells -- which is a good power to have, considering its horn is a prized ingredient for potions.

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Thunderbirds are go

Here Scamander is seen with a Thunderbird, a magical creature closely related to the phoenix. One of the four houses in Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the American equivalent of Hogwarts, is named for this creature.

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Now you see it...

The Demiguise is a peaceful creature whose hair is sought-after because it can be woven into invisibility cloaks.

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Name says it all

You probably don't want to mess with a beast called the Swooping Evil, no matter how colorful and pretty it may appear.

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