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SYFY WIRE Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

First two 'Fantastic Beasts' movies now streaming on Peacock ahead of 'The Secrets of Dumbledore'

Catch up on the Wizarding World before the Potter prequel franchise returns to theaters April 15.

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) CALLUM TURNER as Theseus Scamander and EDDIE REDMAYNE as Newt Scamander

Want to catch up on the Fantastic Beasts films before The Secrets of Dumbledore arrives in theaters next weekend? Peacock has you covered with the first two movies in the Harry Potter prequel franchise. Peacock has a free tier, though this baseline option comes with ad breaks and less content access. There are two paid plans: Peacock Premium ($4.99 a month for the entire library with ad breaks) or Peacock Premium Plus ($9.99 a month for the entire library without the ad breaks). One of the paid tiers is required to check out the Fantastic Beasts films.

Penned by J.K. Rowling (the author's first-ever screenplay) and directed by David Yates (helmer of the last four Potter movies), 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes its name from the Hogwarts textbook of magical creatures written by famed magical zoologist, Newt Scamander.

The first entry in the magical series picks up in 1926 when Newt (played by Eddie Redmayne) shows up in New York City with the intention of releasing a Thunderbird back into the wild. Of course, things don't go as planned and the awkward bestiary specialist runs afoul of the MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America). In an effort to clear his name, he teams up with Auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston); her sister Legilimens, Queenie (Alison Sudol); and bake-happy No-Maj, Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler).

During their adventure, Newt & co. cross paths with Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), a magic-user known as an Obscurus who who has been forced to suppress his abilities until it violently explodes out of him, and Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), the most-wanted dark wizard on the planet.

While Fantastic Beasts ends with the notorious antagonist in custody, it doesn't take long for him to escape in the opening minutes of the second installment — Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. After all, the guy has control over the Elder Wand (one of the all-powerful Deathly Hallows said to be crafted by Death himself).

The battle against the would-be tyrant who would like nothing more than to subjugate Muggles, begins in earnest in Crimes, which also introduced fans to a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). Wise beyond his years and incredibly sympathetic to the plight of the Muggles, the Hogwarts professor cannot move directly against the dark side. Why? Well, there's the small issue of a binding magical blood pact he made years ago with Grindelwald, whom he loved when the two were young men, plotting out their lives together in Godric's Hollow.

This hurdle sets the stage for Secrets (five movies in total are planned). However, Potterheads know full well that Albus does end up finding a way to break the contract because one of the things he's most famous for in the Wizarding World is his defeat of Grindelwald (now played by Hannibal vet, Mads Mikkelsen) in 1945.

In the meantime, though, he must rely on his bartending brother, Aberforth (Richard Coyle); Newt; Tina; Newt's brother, Theseus (Callum Turner); Newt's assistant, Bunty (Victoria Yeates); French wizard, Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam); and Eulalie Hicks (Jessica Williams), a teacher at Ilvermorny (the American school of witchcraft and wizardry).

Queenie, meanwhile, has joined up with Grindelwald, whose inner circle also includes Vinda Rosier (Poppy Corby-Tuech), Helmut (Aleksandr Kuznetsov), and Credence (revealed to be a secret member of the Dumbledore family). New cast members are Oliver Masucci as Anton Vogel, Maria Fernanda Cândido as Vicência Santos, and Dave Wong as Liu Tao.

"I can say I read the script and the character development is really lovely and it’s very similar to the feel of the first movie, which I think is great," Fogler exclusively told SYFY WIRE back in March of 2020 when The Secrets of Dumbledore was forced to delay its production at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It’s leading toward this massive war with the backdrop of World War II, so you can just imagine epic battle scenes are coming."

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore debuts on the big screen everywhere Friday, April 15. Click here for our comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about the movie. For an exclusive look inside the official tie-in book, click here.

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