Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald original screenplay cover revealed

May 30, 2018

Posted by: Amanda Kirk

Books - Release Dates, Companion Books, Cover Art, Fantastic Beasts, Fantastic Beasts Movie, MinaLima, News, Rumor

We recently announced that the original screenplay of Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald will be released on November 16, to coincide with the release of the film.  It’s available for pre-order now, but we’re all going to have to try to be patient for 5 ½ more months—no easy task!

Just because we don’t have any spoilers to mull over doesn’t mean we can’t engage in a wee bit of speculation based on the cover art for the screenplay:

33899668_10214706425407085_554592483934208000_nEvery detail is being analysed on social media.  Are the cats animagi?  Whose side are they on?  What magical role do two black cats play in the story or do they just provide visual symmetry for the artwork without representing two different cats?  Or do they evoke the main characters, as this tweet suggests?

The skull symbol at the top pretty much has to be some early prototype for Voldemort’s dark mark, doesn’t it?

At first blush, Voldemort doesn’t seem the type to adopt the calling card of another wizard, but if we recall that he actually established his legacy by co-opting those of other powerful wizards and ancient families, it doesn’t seem as far-fetched. He used Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, Salazar Slytherin’s locket, Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem and the Gaunt’s ring to create his horcruxes. Adopting the mark used by Grindelwald as a rallying cry for his Death Eaters would make a powerful statement.  The larger question is why Grindelwald himself would use such a mark. The snake and skull are easily linked to Slytherin house and Salazar Slytherin’s pureblood ideologies, but Grindelwald attended Durmstrang. It is possible that the Dark Mark was a symbol already in use for an underground segment of the wizarding population who advocated for wizarding supremacy. It’s also possible the mark is part of the crest of an ancient family–perhaps the Gaunts or the Lestranges, both of whom we know to have Slytherin connections and involvement in this part of Rowling’s story.  The Lestrange family tree, which was revealed in the trailer, has already been analyzed by Leaky and shows that Credence Barebone, known to have a pivotal role in the upcoming film, is related to Leta Lestrange. The Gaunts are also related to Isolt Sayre, who abandoned the family’s dark traditions for America and eventually founded Ilvermorny. Some online are already speculating the knot below Rowling’s name is a Gordian knot.

It’s very likely that in his effort to garner widespread support, Grindelwald sought the backing of renowned and well-established wizarding families sympathetic to his cause, even adopting their family symbols, to unobtrusively charm the masses and woo them to his side. Hitler, whose rise to power coincides with and parallels that of Grindelwald, used the same tactic in Germany with the swastika.

There are also several beasts depicted in stylised form.  How much should we read into them?  There appears to be Phoenixes placed at the top of the Eiffel tower (could we see a Dumbledore-Fawkes origin story, as we previously theorised?). The matching dragons near the top remind me of the Celtic zoomorphic alphabet.  Or are they Occamies, rather than dragons?  There may also be a pair of Thestrals framing Rowling’s name. Newt’s Niffler is there (maybe we’ll find out his name in the next film), as is his beloved Bowtruckle, Pickett.  Anyone see a Demiguise?  We don’t, but we could be missing him. The two mirrored cats are particularly interesting, especially as they’re face-to-face above the Deathly Hallows symbol – could they represent opposing forces? Dumbledore and Grindelwald, perhaps?  Update: The creature in the bottom hand corner is confirmed to be the ‘Oni’ from the Circus Arcanus:



(Thanks to Wiki Harry Potter!)

That sure does look like the Philosopher’s Stone on a pedestal under a glass dome, which reminds me of the one protecting the rose in Beauty and the Beast.  What about the miscellaneous objects dangling from the decorative scrollwork?  You can bet your wand they aren’t random.  The NF on the padlock can only stand for Nicolas Flamel, right? And opposite the lock you can see what may be a delicate vial hanging from the scrollwork. Given its placement near the stone, perhaps it holds the Elixir of Life, which Grindelwald would surely want.

Finally, the Rowling Library noted that the working title connected to the film, and noted in Pottermore’s coverage, is Voltaire. Leaky previously discussed how this was a fitting choice, since Voltaire was a French historian and philosopher.

Using that name is a nod to the film’s Parisian locale–the Eiffel Tower is also notable on the cover–and may be another tongue-in-cheek tie-in to Flamel, who is his magical counterpart. More speculation on Flamel’s role in the film can be found here. The Rowling Library also pointed out that this may set a precedent for finding hidden clues in the working titles of the future installments.

Something else to look out for! For now, what clues do you see in the cover art? Let us know in the comments and on social media.

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.