Magic in San Diego Erupts from Warner Bros.’ Hall H Panel
It was only 15 minutes, but it was a jam-packed 15 minutes. The brief Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald segment of Warner Bros.’ Hall H panel was incredibly intense.
Aisha Tyler took the stage to moderate the Hall H event and promptly rolled the first video feature of the morning. Video screens that encompassed the entire room displayed the Crimes of Grindelwald logo and the music began. It appeared that the entire audience was inside Newt’s case.
Eddie Redmayne appeared on-screen, peering into the case at us and cooing at us like we’re his little beasts (asking us to “settle down now, please”), and then cast the Wand-Lighting Charm. With flashes of strobe lights, Eddie Redmayne jumped onstage, holding a wand and lighting up every wristband in the crowd.
After answering a fan question about which Harry Potter character he would like to play (Hagrid, of course – he loves those creatures and beasts), Eddie decided it was a bit lonely onstage and introduced the rest of the cast. He was joined by Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, Zoë Kravitz, Claudia Kim, and… JUDE LAW!
As soon as the cast was onstage, Eddie assured the audience that they didn’t come empty-handed and announced that we were about to see the new theatrical trailer. With all the surprises within the trailer, the audience was going wild. From Nicolas Flamel to Dumbledore seeing Grindelwald within the Mirror of Erised, take a look at our full trailer breakdown here.
When the lights came back up, the cast was seated and ready to take a few questions. The first topic up for discussion was about working within the beloved Harry Potter universe as it grows and expands. Eddie was the first to answer and praise J.K. Rowling for all of her creativity with this world, ending with “above all else, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun.” The rest of the panel was asked to join in with their feelings about working in this franchise and whether or not they were fans before taking their roles. Ezra Miller quickly reminded the audience of all there was to anticipate in this film.
There’s nothing to not geek out over. I mean, every single aspect of this movie is a geek out fiasco. Oh gosh, keep it together. Why did you ask me this question? I mean, Hogwarts! Dumbledore! [turns to look at Law] Eh? Nifflers! More Nifflers! FLAMEL! Give me a break. I mean, I could go on…
It was then Jude Law’s turn to take the heat to talk about returning to Hogwarts and what’s at stake in the film.
There is a lot that’s at stake. It’s very much a ‘whose side are you on’ story. The Muggle world [and] the wizarding world are somewhat pitched against each other. But also the wizards within the wizarding world are asked what side are they on and what side of the line do they choose to join. Everything is at stake, really. The depths and the darkness in this story [are] possibly the darkest this world have plumbed before.
Jude Law then discussed his character of “young” Dumbledore, who is a “very spritely 45.”
You’ve got to remember that the Dumbledore we all know and love from the Harry Potter films is nearly 100 years older. So there’s a long way to go… and obviously over those years, he develops a penchant for caftans. He loses his razor along the way, and I’m happy all of that is still to come. Director David Yates, our wonderful director, really let me free on establishing him in his own right. There'[re] still many – I hope – familiar character traits. He’s still mischievous, and he has a particular way of influencing people – Newt in particular with how to do things – slightly manipulative. And he’s got secrets, which is one of the things all the characters of J.K. Rowling have. There are chasms to him, and all of those will be explained over time.
The entire panel discussion can be watched below:
The panel took an incredibly surprising turn at the end. Moderator Aisha Tyler segued into Grindelwald, and before she could continue her sentence, loud and dark music interrupted her midthought. The lights went out, and the screens unfolded to reveal the new Gellert Grindelwald symbol waving upon a giant banner. The eerie voice of Grindelwald echoed across the room as the auditorium scene from the trailer appeared on the screens around the room. We were Grindelwald’s audience within that auditorium. In a flash of light, Johnny Depp himself took the stage – dressed in full character and reciting his lines from the film.
Johnny Depp makes a surprise visit at #SDCC in full Grindelwald costume ?pic.twitter.com/beWA1VId11
— FANDOM @ SDCC (@getFANDOM) July 21, 2018
With a final theatrical crash of instrumentals and cutting of lights, Depp was whisked away – without being seen or heard from again. If you’re still processing all that happened today, don’t worry, so are we! Tell us what you’re most excited for in the comments below.