Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated Hall H panel got off to a political start Saturday morning as the stars of the sequel to the “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” took the stage.
Onscreen in the Harry Potter universe, wizards spin extraordinary spells with the wave of a wand. How would the cast use magical powers if they had them in real life?
“Impeach Trump,” answered cast member Zoe Kravitz, who plays Leta Lestrange, to cheers from the crowd. “I’ll take impeachment, but we could go further than that.”
“Impeachious maximus!” would be the spell, quipped Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob Kowalski.
Said Ezra Miller, who reprises his role as Credence Barebone, “I’d destroy the patriarchy.” Miller made a splashy entrance in true Comic-Con fashion wearing pink-and-white Toad cosplay.
The sequel to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” in theaters Nov. 16, “is very much a ‘whose side are you on’ story,” teased Jude Law. He described the film’s central divide as one between muggles and wizards, with even wizards asked to choose a side. Law plays a young Albus Dumbledore. “The depths and the darkness in this story [are] possibly the darkest this world have plumbed before,” he said.
“When you get to swim in this world, it feels like one of the great creative and imaginative privileges,” raved Eddie Redmayne, who stars as Ministry of Magic magizoologist Newt Scamander, to the packed 6,500 capacity Hall H audience where every fan was given a collectible “Fantastic Beasts” bracelet that lit up on command.
Fans were treated to a first-look trailer on the studio’s exclusive expansive wraparound screens before the lights went dark and new franchise addition Johnny Depp materialized onstage in character, as the villainous, white-haired Grindelwald: “The moment has come to rise up and take our rightful place in the world,” he commanded the audience.
Depp was recently in the news after a Rolling Stone article detailing his financial woes went viral. Nevertheless, Hall H buzzed with excitement when the actor emerged onstage, even though his initial casting was met with some controversy.
“When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role,” author J.K. Rowling wrote in a statement on her website in December. “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.”
The stories in question concerned domestic violence allegations against Depp made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
“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 continued. “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.”
The costumed Depp was met with cheers from the Hall H crowd.