New 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' Still Released

The world of Harry Potter lives on in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is hitting theaters November 16, 2018. You can check out an all-new still from the upcoming film below.

fantastic beasts 2 johnny depp crimes of grindelwald
(Photo: Warner Bros.)

The image features dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and Rosier (Poppy Corby-Tuech), potentially recruiting her for his nefarious schemes.

At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

While the film is more than a year away, it is already surrounded in controversy due to the inclusion of Johnny Depp as the titular Grindelwald.

The actor has been at the center of domestic abuse allegations from his now ex-wife Amber Heard, with many fans finding themselves unable to enjoy the films with his continued involvement. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling attempted to address the issue, which only magnified the decision.

"When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he'd be wonderful in the role," Rowling said in an official statement. "However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise."

Given that small appearance, one would think his role could be taken on by another actor, which Rowling mentioned, possibly revealing that it was a contractual issue.

"Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role," Rowling said. "As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn't happen."

Adding legitimacy to the legal ramifications, Rowling pointed out that Depp and Heard came to an agreement, as they both wanted to put the past behind them.

"The agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected," Rowling noted. "Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald lands in theaters November 16, 2018.

[H/T USA Today]