BALTIMORE — The first trailer for the new "Fantastic Beasts" movie was released Monday morning, giving fans a glimpse at Mads Mikkelsen's portrayal of the series' antagonist, Gellert Grindelwald.
"Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" features the return of Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a magical biologist who is caught up in a wizarding war between Grindelwald and famed wizard Albus Dumbledore (of "Harry Potter" fame).
The titular Dumbledore is played by Jude Law.
According to Wizarding World, the official Harry Potter and "Fantastic Beasts" website, the third movie in the series has Newt and company fending off the rise of Grindelwald's forces on a "dangerous mission" through the wizarding world.
"Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world," the announcement teases. "Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?"
But the biggest reveal in the first official trailer didn't have anything to do with the plot. Instead, the focus rested on the antagonist. Those who watched the first two movies will remember that Grindelwald was originally played by Johnny Depp.
Warner Bros. Studios asked Depp to step down from the role after a failed libel lawsuit against British tabloid "The Sun," over a 2018 article that referred to Depp as a “wife-beater.”
Warner Bros. announced in November 2020 that Mads Mikkelsen would take over the role of the dark wizard in his place.
Mikkelsen is only briefly seen in the trailer, performing what appears to be some kind of memory magic in a quick shot, then his voice is heard later in the trailer laying out the stakes of the film:
"Our war with the muggles begins today."
The film was originally scheduled to release in July 2022, but was pushed up by the studio to an April 15, 2022 release date.
J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, wrote the screenplay, along with Steve Kloves, and David Yates, who has directed every Harry Potter film since "Order of the Phoenix," helms this latest adaptation.
The "Fantastic Beasts" franchise is still planning for two more films after "The Secrets of Dumbledore" debuts in 2022.