The film has grossed over $439 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its entertainment value
In 1927, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) is transferring the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from their maximum security prison to London to be tried for his crimes in Europe. While departing New York City, Grindelwald is freed by his follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy. Grindelwald kills the guards and escapes using the transfer carriage.
Three months later in London, Newt Scamander is appealing to the Ministry of Magic to restore his international travel rights, which were revoked following his visit to New York City. While at the Ministry, he meets with Leta Lestrange, an old Hogwarts classmate now engaged to his Aurorbrother, Theseus. The Ministry offers to restore Newt’s travel rights if he will work for them, alongside Theseus, to locate the Obscurial Credence Barebone, who has resurfaced in Paris. It is suspected that Credence is Leta’s long-lost brother, Corvus Lestrange, the last of a long line of pure-blood wizards. Grindelwald believes Credence is the only person who can kill his living equal, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore. When Newt declines, not wanting to choose sides, the Auror Grimmson is dispatched in his place. After leaving the Ministry, Newt is summoned by Dumbledore, who persuades Newt to locate Credence.
Newt returns home to discover his American friends, Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski have unexpectedly arrived. Jacob has retained most of his memories from the 1926 events in New York City as the MACUSA’s citywide Obliviation order only erased Muggles’ bad memories while Jacob’s were mostly good. Queenie tells Newt that she and Jacob have followed her sister, Tina, to Europe; Tina is searching for Credence in Paris. Queenie also reveals that Tina believes Newt is betrothed to Leta Lestrange after reading an engagement announcement in the newspaper. Newt explains that the article confused him with Theseus. After Jacob and Queenie quarrel about the marriage ban between wizards and muggles, an upset Queenie leaves to find Tina. Newt and Jacob follow the girls to Paris.
In Paris, Tina searches for Credence at a wizarding freak show at the Circus Arcanus. Credence and another circus attraction, a young woman named Nagini who can transform into a snake, escape after causing a distraction during the show. While searching for Credence’s birth mother, he and Nagini find the servant who put him up for adoption. However, Grimmson, who is revealed to be working for Grindelwald, arrives and kills her. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf Kama who is also hunting Credence. Newt and Jacob follow Yusuf to Tina, and Yusuf explains that he made an Unbreakable Vow to kill Credence, whom he believes is his step-brother and the last of the Lestrange family.
Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic for documents that can confirm Credence’s identity but Leta and Theseus discover them. Newt and Tina reconcile after he explains he was never engaged to Leta. Their search for information about Credence leads them to the Lestrange family tomb at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Yusuf says that he and Leta have the same mother, and Leta reveals that she unintentionally killed her infant brother and thus he cannot be Credence. However, a fabricated trail led Credence to the tomb, where Grindelwald is holding a rally for his followers. Jacob finds Queenie at the rally.
At the rally, Grindelwald preaches abolishing laws forcing wizards to stay hidden from muggles, and utilizes future images of World War II to call for worldwide wizard supremacy and domination. Led by Theseus, Aurors surround the rally, but Grindelwald tricks them into killing one of the audience and sends his followers across Europe to spread his message. Grindelwald casts a circle of blue flame to divide followers from enemies. Credence and Queenie cross the line to join him, despite protests from Nagini and Jacob. Leta appears to also swear allegiance, but instead seemingly sacrifices herself by attacking Grindelwald, giving Newt, Tina, Jacob, Yusuf, Nagini, and Theseus time to escape. As Grindelwald bolts, the remaining heroes unite alongside the immortal alchemist Nicolas Flamel to defeat Grindelwald’s blue flame and save Paris. Newt realises he must join the fight against Grindelwald.
Newt and the others travel to Hogwarts where Newt presents Dumbledore a vial containing the blood pact between Grindelwald and Dumbledore that Newt stole from Grindelwald. The two wizards were once close friends in their youth. Newt surmises that this has prevented Dumbledore and Grindelwald from duelling each other. Dumbledore confirms this, but believes it may be possible to destroy the pact. At his Nurmengard base in Austria, Grindelwald reveals Credence’s true identity as Aurelius Dumbledore, Albus’ long-lost brother and the only person powerful enough to defeat him. Queenie uses her mind-reading ability to advise Grindelwald on ways to control Credence. A baby bird that Credence had been caring for is revealed to be a phoenix, a bird associated with the Dumbledore family.
- Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander:
- A British Ministry of Magic employee in the Beasts Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, as well as a self-proclaimed magizoologist. He played a part in remedying the events of a violent attack on the City of New York in December 1926 involving dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. He is a confidante of Albus Dumbledore, despite being an outcast from certain circles of British Wizarding society due to his checkered past. Joshua Shea portrays a young Newt.
- Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein:
- A promoted MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) Auror. She played a role in thwarting Gellert Grindelwald during the Obscurus incident of 1926, for which she and Newt were initially blamed.
- Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski:
- A No-Maj veteran of World War I and current business owner of a bakery, a friend of Newt’s, and the primary love interest to Queenie before having his memory obliviated following Grindelwald’s attack on New York.
- Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein:
- The pretty and vivacious younger sister of Tina, who worked alongside her in the Federal Wand Permit Bureau after Tina was once demoted. She is a powerful natural Legilimens, and has fallen in love with Jacob Kowalski, despite the wizarding laws forbidding the relationship.
- Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone:
- The disturbed adopted child of Mary-Lou Barebone, violently abused and downtrodden. Enraged by people’s treatment of him and Grindelwald’s betrayal, he set his Obscurus parasite loose on the City of New York, causing widespread death and destruction. He was eventually “destroyed” by MACUSA officials, although a tiny Obscurus fragment escaped. Credence now has complete control over his Obscurus.
- Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange:
- A damaged and confused young woman who still exerts some control over Newt, who was once in love with her, and possibly still is. After once risking the life of a fellow Hogwart’s student, she has been responsible for Newt’s being ostracized from some British wizarding society, after he took the blame for her misdemeanor. She is descended from a historically wealthy, pureblood family infamous for engaging in the Dark Arts. She is currently engaged to Theseus Scamander, Newt’s brother, and is now working at the British Ministry of Magic as the assistant to Torquil Travers, the Head of Magical Law Enforcement.Thea Lamb and Ruby Woolfenden both portray young versions of Leta.
- Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander:
- The older brother of Newt Scamander, who works in the Auror Office of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, fought in World War I, and is described as a “war hero”. The two brothers share a tentatively warm relationship, slightly marred by their not quite understanding each other. He spent the previous year hunting Grindelwald with a team of British Aurors. Theseus is currently engaged to Leta Lestrange.
- Claudia Kim as Nagini:
- The main attraction of a wizarding circus and freak show called Circus Arcanus and a Maledictus, who carries a blood curse that will eventually transform her into a snake permanently. For as long as she can remember, her transformative powers have been exploited by Skender. Nagini befriends one of the menial workers there, Credence. She will eventually become the infamous companion of Lord Voldemort, as well as his final Horcrux.
- William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama: A French-Senegalese wizard who has spent many years obsessively searching for Credence and has finally tracked him down in Paris at Circus Arcanus. Isaac Domingos portrays a young Yusuf.
- Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy: Tina and Queenie’s previous MACUSA supervisor who is revealed to be a follower of Grindelwald.
- Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore:
- An extremely influential and powerful wizard in the British Wizarding Community, known in the British Ministry of Magic and throughout the wider wizarding world for his academic excellence, currently a professor of Defence Against the Dark Artsat Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He had a summer-long, mysterious relationship with Grindelwald, which ended on a tragic note. A strong ally of Newt Scamander’s, he is called to resist Grindelwald’s reign of terror. Toby Regbo reprises his role from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 as young Dumbledore.
- Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald:
- An infamous powerful dark wizard who caused mass violence, terror and chaos around the globe, seeking to lead a new Wizarding World Order, with a strong belief in wizarding superiority. He shared a summer-long, deep, and mysterious relationship with Albus Dumbledore as a teenager, until tragedy struck. He wreaked havoc across Europe before being captured by MACUSA in New York. It was Depp’s idea for the character’s heterochromia, saying that he saw Grindelwald as “more than one… almost as though he was two people.” Jamie Campbell Bower reprises his role from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 as young Grindelwald.
Carmen Ejogo reprises her role as Seraphina Picquery, the President of MACUSA, from the first film. Brontis Jodorowsky portrays Nicolas Flamel, a 14th-century, 600-year-old Parisian scribe and alchemist believed to have discovered the Philosopher’s Stone, who is a friend and colleague of Dumbledore. The character was mentioned previously in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Fiona Glascott portrays a young Minerva McGonagall.
Poppy Corby-Tuech portrays Vinda Rosier, Grindelwald’s loyal right-hand follower.
Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson portrays Grimmson, a powerful bounty hunter.
Ólafur Darri Ólafsson portrays Skender, the cruel head and ringmaster of Circus Arcanus.
David Sakurai appears as Krall, Grindelwald’s ambitious and sulky henchman.
Victoria Yeates portrays Bunty, Newt Scamander’s assistant.
Isaura Barbé-Brown portrays Laurena Kama, Leta Lestrange’s mother.
Jessica Williams portrays Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, a professor of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Derek Riddell, Wolf Roth and Cornell John portray Torquil Travers, Spielman and Arnold Guzman, respectively.