Unless you've been locked up in Azkaban, you know that J.K. Rowling's forthcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, offers up tantalizing connections to the epic story of Harry Potter as the famed author continues to evolve her ever-sprawling Potterverse.
Now the film's stars Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne, who play young Albus Dumbledore and magizoologist hero Newt Scamander respectively, are making those links to the Boy Who Lived explicit in a new featurette that's casting a spell online.
"This wizarding world that J.K. Rowling has created is so rich and vast from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. There are so many connections between characters and storylines past and present and so many secrets yet to be revealed," says Law.
"In this movie, we are exploring the rise of the first dark lord, Gellert Grindelwald," adds Redmayne.
"Today, we're gonna remind you how the film connects to the Potter story we all know so well and love," concludes Law. "So sit back and enjoy the magic."
As Rowling's website Pottermore explains and the clip reveals, the similarities between Newt and Harry are not so easy to ignore. For instance, over a voiceover from Michael Gambon's older Dumbledore talking about "time," the featurette cuts between our two heroes from two very different times and intermingles them with their Dark Wizard antagonists: Voldemort in Harry's case and Gellert Grindelwald in Newt's.
"Mysterious thing, time. Once there was a young man like you who sat in this very hall. Walked this castle's corridor. He seemed to all the world a student like any other," the older Dumbledore tells Hogwarts students in the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Of course, the headmaster then was referring to Tom Riddle, aka He Who Must Not Be Named, but as the featurette points out, it could just as easily apply to a young Newt and his blonde-haired nemesis Grindelwald, played in the film by Johnny Depp, who aims to lord over both the wizarding and non-wizarding world.
More connections abound. Remember the mirror of Erised? First seen in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when the lightning scarred boy magician peers into it and sees his late mother and father, Lily and James Potter, the enchanted window into the "most desperate desires of our heart" makes an encore appearance. As seen in the trailer, the young Dumbledore stands before the mirror and finds himself face to face with a reflection of Grindelwald, hinting at a deeper longing perhaps?
Of course, Rowling first revealed Dumbledore was gay back in 2007, prompting fans to parse the nature of the relationship between he and Grindelwald, childhood best friends who grew up in Godric's Hollow.
Then there's the parallels with the Deathly Hallows. The video shows Harry introduced to the triangular symbol for the three magical objects that "make one Master of Death" in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. We then see Fantastic Beasts' Percival Graves, the character played by Colin Farrell before he turned into Grindelwald, giving the necklace to Credence in that movie.
As Potterheads who've studied the vast lore on this subject know, both Dumbledore and Grindelwald obsessed over the power of the Hallows which took the form of the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. As the featurette makes clear, it's Grindelwald who has the Elder Wand now, even though we know Dumbledore will come to possess it later on after he defeats his old friend in a final clash in 1945 – and Voldemort will years later stop at nothing to seize its power.
And as Hermione reminds us in The Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald played a key part in this history.
No doubt, Rowling will make deeper connections in three more Fantastic Beasts installments that are in the works.
The Crimes of Grindelwald arrives in theaters on Nov. 16.