RUMOR: Cast List Reveals ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Plot Clues!

Dec 14, 2017

Posted by: Dawn Johnson

BigNews, Casting, Fandom, Fans, Fantastic Beasts, Films, J.K. Rowling, Movies, News, Opinion, Rumor, SetReports

A few days ago, Leaky came across an “official” but unconfirmed list of actors and extras on Reddit, which appeared to give the full slate of characters appearing in the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, including Ariana Dumbledore, Unspeakables, Grindelwald fanatics, and more. The list is lengthy and purportedly came from Starnow and Casting Call Pro. We are treating this exciting yet unconfirmed news with kid gloves, but we’ll take any chance to theorize about the plot of J.K. Rowling’s next film!

First, we note an extra referred to as “NYPD Police Officer/US Military Official/Hit-Wizard.” This would suggest the wizard is an American, probably a highly-trained, elite auror employed by MACUSA, whose public cover is as a military or police officer. Is it possible that President Picquery is desperate enough to track Gellert Grindelwald and return him to custody that she will turn to the wizarding equivalent of special forces? If this wizard possesses the skills of a “hitman,” it may be an off-the-record “dead or alive” mission.


A “Parisian Version” Of MACUSA’s President Seraphina Picquery

We recall from the first film that Picquery takes no chances when it comes to the exposure of the No-Maj in America. She takes their protection very seriously, and it is not at all far-fetched to conclude she would go to such lengths, sending this wizard on a cross-continental operation. So seriously, in fact, that she may make the journey to Paris herself!

Carmen Ejogo (Picquery) spoke with Collider about the extent of her role in the film, and in that interview, she revealed:

“In this one, maybe not so much [of Seraphina], but Seraphina is the president of [MACUSA], so whenever we return to the US, I would imagine we get more of Seraphina. But this film mostly takes place in Paris, so we get to see a sort of Parisian version of her.”


As expected, the Madam President will feature less so in this film, which is not surprising since the story moves to Paris. But, perhaps she makes a diplomatic appearance to ease the way for her covert operation and to give wizarding officials in France an update on Grindelwald’s whereabouts. It would seem fitting for her to accommodate her hosts by adopting their dress and customs, which may explain the “Parisian version” reference, and since the listing includes a “French Auror/Hit-Wizard/Terrorist Operative,” her plea is probably successful. An alternative, however, is that we’ll be seeing the “Parisian version” of the President of the American ministry (rather than just the “Parisian version” of Seraphina), meaning we could be seeing the Parisian minister!

Hints At Grindelwald’s Dark Uprising: Fanatics, Circuses and Deathly Hallows

The extras call sheet then lists “Counter-Terrorism Operative/Department of Mysteries Worker.” This suggests that the Ministry of Magic has been called on to collaborate, lending knowledgeable personnel to the search. Additionally, we’re particularly interested in the descriptive “counter-terrorism” and the recurrence of extras titled “terrorist operative.”

It makes complete sense that Grindelwald would resort to acts of terrorism in order to accomplish his objectives under the guise of “the greater good”. In his view, it is a means to an end, and he desires to reveal the wizarding community and force a war that will inevitably lead to the victory of the “superior” wizard-kind. What better way to effectively further his horrific agenda than by committing atrocities and crimes that, unlike his failed attempts in New York, simply cannot be ignored or covered up.


The list specifically mentions such extras as “Fanatic,” “Grindelwald Supporter,” and “Grindelwald Fanatic/Follower.” Any would be more than willing to perpetrate these attacks as part of Grindelwald’s campaign.

But there’s another possibility. The list also includes “Cult Member,” “Second Salemer,” “New Salemer,” and “Priest,” which leads us to believe that the fearful wizard-haters have brought their fight to Europe as well. Maybe they come of their own accord and, under new leadership, take their opposition to the extreme, now engaging in acts against wizarding communities–or perhaps they come because Grindelwald shrewdly perceived that he could manipulate their extremism to help mount his war.

fantastic secon salemers

Grindelwald could very easily give them inside information about underground wizarding locales to target. He could even plant a few of his own supporters within their ranks to further their cause for as long as it was expedient. (We can’t imagine his followers putting up with the anti-wizarding rhetoric for long.) But, given the number of Death Eater forebears in the cast, we’re sure that Grindelwald has plenty of devoted followers–Travers, Rosier, and Carrow, to name a few!–to entrust with such tasks, including insurrection.

Regardless of whether his assembled gang of henchmen is dealing the blows directly or indirectly, Grindelwald is almost certainly pulling the strings. As for the locations they’ll hit, the list gives us some clues there as well. Among the extras, we find a “Circus Audience Member/Terrorist Attack Victim,” an “U.K. Citizen/Attack Victim,” a “London Citizen/Attack Victim,” a “Parisian Passerby/Terrorist Attack Victim,” and a “Ballroom Girl/Parisian Sex Worker/Attack Victim.”


From this list alone it sounds like Grindelwald’s strategy–and perhaps that of the Salemer cult–will be widespread and varied, sparing few and paying no heed to class or creed. And the results will be devastating. Extras are also given titles such as “Hospital Patient,” “Screaming Woman,” ” Screaming Crowd Member,” “Dead Girl,” “Dead Boy,” “Injured Man,” “Disfigured Child,” “Gravedigger,” and “Grave Mourner.” This film looks to us give a glimpse into the darkest parts of wizarding history–maybe even more terrible to watch than the depictions of Voldemort’s callous and indiscriminate violence.

We can take our analysis of the hit list even further. Not only will we witness Grindelwald’s many crimes, we’ll also be privy to the underbelly of the wizarding world, including a “Pimp,” more than one “Prostitute,” and “Sex Trade Worker.” How this will play out remains to be seen, but the first film clearly established that Grindelwald, as Graves, had no qualms over exploiting Credence’s obvious insecurities and inferior position for his own gain.


It would not be surprising if this tendency somehow translated into something even more oppressive, especially at a time where the average citizen was likely to look the other way. It was a culture that labeled the different a “freak” and the downtrodden woman “worthless.” It’s no wonder some might choose to hide behind the circus culture or a life of prostitution. The question is whether Grindelwald is perpetuating it or whether he is simply abusing the reality of its existence by turning the outcasts of society into his weary followers.

It would also not be surprising to find that this is where Credence Barebone, himself, has chosen to disappear. But is he still hiding from Grindelwald and his cohorts or has he already given in to Grindelwald’s overtures?


We’ll have to let that thought ruminate and move on because it seems Grindelwald will be reigning terror across Europe through other means as well–he may be close to raising his army of Inferi! The extras list mentions only an “Inferi 1” and “Inferi 2,” so Grindelwald may still be experimenting with this method of waging war, but being the pragmatist that he is, he will be committed to employing multiple strategies for maximum effect. With this in mind, he may have–or be searching for–the resurrection stone, as previously suggested by Leaky!

The Ongoing Question of Ariana Dumbledore:

We have also theorized that he will continue looking for ways to use the power of Obscurials, which likely explains Credence’s involvement. It also suggests Grindelwald may delve deeper into the past and re-examine the events surrounding his estrangement from one-time friend and confidant Albus Dumbledore.


Notably, the cast list includes a “Young Gellert Grindelwald,” “Young Albus Dumbledore,” and “Ariana Dumbledore!” This means the film will probably include a flashback, finally giving us more background detail on Ariana’s strange powers and the fatal fight that haunted Dumbledore all his life. How this information may be used, by either side, is unknown, but there is most certainly much to be discovered–and potentially gained–by revisiting it.

The Ministry of Magic: Aurors and Unspeakables


With Grindelwald standing as a formidable foe on so many fronts, it stands to reason the wizarding world would have to join forces across nations in order to combat his attacks. As aforementioned, President Picquery will make an appearance, as well as high-ranking representatives such as “Intl. Confed. Of Wizards Member,” “International Royal Dignitary,” “French Auror/US Military General,” “Foreign Monarch/Policeman Foreign,” “PM/International Confederation of Wizards Member,” “French Wizarding Politician/British Wizard’s Council Member,” “O.W.L. Military General,” and other ministry employees.

One of the more interesting hints is a mention of various Unspeakables, which could mean we delve into the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries. The Death Chamber, which holds the veil Sirius Black died passing though after duelling Bellatrix Lestrange in Order of The Phoenix, features on the list. (Suddenly this is all sounding too good to be true!) The rest of the Deparment of Mystery’s Chambers (Love, Time, Space) are also mentioned, and wouldn’t it be great to see more of the inner workings of the UK Ministry?


And, finally, the most interesting question of all: with so many players in this battle for life and death, how do Dumbledore, Newt, Leta, Tina, Queenie, and Jacob factor in?

We have already discussed the possibility that Grindelwald is also manipulating Leta, using her to draw out Newt in hopes of exploiting his knowledge of both Obscurials and magical creatures. But now that we know she is engaged to Newt’s brother, Theseus Scamander, who happens to work for the Ministry of Magic, perhaps there are deeper, and more uncertain, connections there as well!


Whose side is Theseus really on, and could he play a part in persuading Newt and Dumbledore to engage in a chess match they may not know they’re playing? Or are they all on the same side, quietly assisting in the search for Grindelwald by special request–and maybe aiding the rescue of Credence, crossing the path of more fantastic beasts, and confirming the existence of the Hallows along the way?

What do you think of these unconfirmed details, Potter fans? Which of these theories do you think most likely, and do you have any of your own!? Read the full cast list as posted on Reddit here, and formulate your own opinions, and let us know in the comments or via Twitter (@Leaky) / Facebook (@Leaky) / Instagram (@leakycauldronnews). Happy theorising!


The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.