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The New FANTASTIC BEASTS 2 Cast Photo Revealed Way More Than You Think

Today Warner Bros. released the official title for the next installment in their Harry Potter prequel franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, along with a bunch of new information about the film. But most important might be the very stylish first cast photo. It is half regular old static Muggle image, half moving picture like the kind wizards take.

And despite being such a brief glance, it contains lots of clues that point to what we might see not only in this film, but from the three remaining sequels that will follow.

From personal relationships old and new, to new found confidences and devious ambitions, to theories that could connect to the battle between Harry and Voldemort decades later, there’s a lot going on in this tableau. And with a year to go until the film hits theaters, what better way to tide us over than by breaking it all down.

First, here’s the full image/video we got today. It starts as a regular photo before it changes into a magical moving picture. From left to right it includes: Jude Law as young(er) Dumbledore, Ezra Miller’s Creedence, new cast member Claudia Kim as Maledictus, Zoë Kravitz as Leta LeStrange (only seen in a picture in the first film), new cast member Callum Turner as her fiance and Newt’s brother Theseus, Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldtsein, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, Dan Fogler’s Jacob Kowalski, Alison Sudol as Tina Goldstein, and Johnny Depp as the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

This might sound wild, but there’s a lot to learn from the way they are sitting, who they are near, how they are physically engaged with them, and what they do when the image moves. Let’s start with Dumbledore and Grindelwald, one talented wizard who seems to be struggling with their past, and one who is only looking ahead to his grand goals.

Dumbledore Looks at Grindelwald, Who Doesn’t Look Back

The last time we saw Grindelwald he was captured by MACUSA, but according to Warner Bros. in the new film we’ll find the dangerous Dark Wizard has escaped and begun “gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.” That will lead Dumbledore to reach out to his former student Newt to help combat him.

But we know from Harry Potter that Dumbledore was reluctant to fight his former friend for many years, despite the wizarding community begging him to get involved. Their famous duel doesn’t take place until 1945, which is where we think the franchise is ultimately headed, but since this movie takes place in 1927, that’s not for another 18 years.

(You can read about the complete history of Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s relationship here and why we think the franchise will end with that famous fight here.)

That might explain the sad look Dumbledore gives Grindelwald here. Notice when the picture starts to move he looks across the image at his former friend, but that Grindelwald never breaks his gaze with the camera. Grindelwald is looking ahead, focused on his ultimate plan for world domination, whereas Dumbledore seems conflicted by his past feelings for him.

His reluctance to fully engage Grindelwald in battle, despite the danger he poses, might be complicated by romantic feelings Dumbledore had for him. J.K. Rowling has said Dumbledore is gay and that he fell in love with Grindelwald when they were younger, and that could be explored further in Fantastic Beasts. A Dumbledore whose personal relationships hinder his ability to act and makes him less sure of himself would make for a very different wizard than the wise professor we know and love. Is that why he reaches out to Newt in this film, so he can avoid facing Grindelwald himself? Will his feelings for Grindelwald put others he cares about in danger for nearly two decades?

(Bonus: Here’s what we think could be going on with Dumbledore’s old wand).

Did Creedence Run Away With the Magical Circus?

The fate of Ezra Miller’s troubled young Obscurial Creedence was left unanswered at the end of the first movie, when he vanished in a puff of smoke. But now we know he’s definitely returning, and we might even know where he ended up: the circus. The movie will include a magical circus, and the sad lady leaning against Creedence is Claudia Kim’s Maledictus, the main attraction at the circus who is “the carrier of a blood curse that destines her ultimately to transform into a beast.” (WAY more on her in a second.)

Based on them sitting together (especially the way she seems to be using him as a shield to protect her)—as well as Creedence’s change from the black Puritanical clothes he wore in the first film into something with a little more personality—it would seem Creedence has found a new home along with some other unusual wizards and witches. It could be that he feels comfortable around other people who are seen as freaks. But will that be enough to keep him hidden from Grindelwald, or from Newt, the most famous magizooloist who might be interested in someone who is turning into a fantastic beast?

Is Maledictus Turning Into the Most Famous Snake From Harry Potter?

This photo might tell us something monumental about the future of Claudia Kim’s character, which could lead to a shocking revelation with major ramifications for Harry Potter. This image seems to confirm a fan theory, which we came across at Digital Spy, that her “blood curse” is turning her into a snake. First, look at her legs, which appear to be scaled.

Now combine that with this poster from the first film for the Circus Arcanus, which includes the “enchanting snake girl,” and it certainly seems like her future could be turning into a serpent.

Considering it appears she’ll be close to a powerful, dangerous Obscurial who the dark Wizard Grindelwald is after, and she will become a snake, it’s not hard to think it’s possible that Maledictus could end up becoming something dark and evil, which could mean becoming Voldemort’s pet/horcrux Nagini.

Is this completely wild speculation? It sure is! We just don’t have anything else to go on yet. Is it a lot of fun to consider? You better believe it!

Newt and a Stylish Tina Seem To Have Gained Some Much Needed Confidence

In the first film Newt was far more comfortable dealing with his animals than he was other people, and the down-on-her-luck, unfashionable Tina didn’t have much confidence in either her position at work or in life. But in this photo they both look more comfortable with themselves. For Newt it could be because his book, the one he is famous for and which lent its name to the movie franchise, has been released.

And based on those chic new clothes, which are world’s more stylish than her loose fitting hat and long coat in the first film, and that great haircut, Tina doesn’t seem like the low self esteem witch we knew. Although, in a photo where every other pairing is physically touching, these two seem to still be just friends. That means the development of their relationship—we know they end up married—might not happen for at least another film.

Queenie and Jacob Seem to Be an Official Item

Last time we saw this pair she was visiting his successful new bakery, and even though his memory had been wiped there still seemed to be a romantic spark between him that let him know they had met before. Based on the way the two are holding each other’s arms here, we’d imagine that spark has stoked the flames of romance and they are officially a couple now.

Will Leta LeStrange and Her Fiance Theseus Scamander Fight For Grindelwald?

Warner Bros. revealed Newt’s brother Theseus is engaged to Leta LeStrange, and we know Newt has some kind of difficult past with her already based on his scene with Queenie in the first movie. But the couple’s presence in this photo, front and center, points to the two of them playing an even bigger role in the movie than we might have guessed.

Based on what we know about the LeStrange family’s connection with Voldemort, it is very possible Leta will fight alongside Grindelwald, which could mean her fiancé will, too. With Dumbledore calling on Newt to help stop Grindelwald, that could set the brothers up for a civil war—a civil war trapped in a love triangle.

The film’s press release said, “Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.” Considering some of Grindelwald’s followers won’t be aware of his ultimate plan to rule Muggles, that secrecy could drive the wedge between the Scamander brothers. But it also means if Grindelwald’s true motivations come to light it could also help them reunite.

Like we said, it’s just one quick photo, but there’s a lot going on here.

But what do you think? Are we off base with some of our predictions? Did we miss anything? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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Images: Warner Bros. Pictures

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