This is an exciting (but also confusing) time to be Claudia Kim, who landed the key role of Nagini in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Harry Potter fans are very familiar with Lord Voldemort's Horcrux snake -- or at least we thought we were. Now that we're meeting Nagini as a young woman prior to her snake turn, however, we have questions that need answering in the next movies. Turns out, Kim has the same questions, such as these.
Does she speak Parseltongue? Does she discover that ability, or ...? How does she meet Tom Riddle? All of the same things that the fans are wondering.
Claudia Kim posed these questions to J.K. Rowling's official Pottermore site on the red carpet of the film's Paris premiere. It's clear she's eager to delve into Nagini's backstory and connect the dots between the character we meet in the second Fantastic Beasts movie and the one we know later in the Harry Potter books and films.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for this movie, and she's writing all five planned Fantastic Beasts films. She'd only recently revealed that Nagini was actually a "Maledictus," a carrier of a blood curse leaving the person (always a woman) destined to permanently turn into a beast.
Previews for Crimes of Grindelwald show Nagini's closeness to Ezra Miller's Credence Barebone, so we know they have a connection. But this film is set in 1927, and the final Harry Potter story already revealed that Neville Longbottom kills Nagini (and Moldy Voldy's Horcrux inside her) during the Battle of Hogwarts in 1998.
So there's a lot of story to cover in those years. As Claudia Kim noted, she at some point must meet Tom Riddle Jr., who later becomes the self-styled Lord Voldemort. Riddle's official Pottermore birthday is December 31, 1926. So he's clearly a lot younger than our Nagini, whose life as a snake is apparently very long.
Does she learn Parseltongue immediately when she turns into a snake? Is that how she bonds with Tom Riddle, who told Albus Dumbledore that snakes find him and talk to him? We hope Claudia Kim and viewers get answers in any of the next several films.
That said, J.K. Rowling had previously told Variety her five-film series would span 19 years -- from the 1926 of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to, presumably, the legendary 1945 duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. So Tom Riddle would be about 19 at the end of this story, and it's not clear yet if he will have a role in the final film. But Nagini is here now, so we'll at least start following her story.
J.K. Rowling has already taken heat from some fans for adding this new Nagini twist. She's also facing questions for another potential canon issue with Professor McGonagall. Plenty of fans and critics have already seen Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but they are sworn to protect the secrets until we all get to play.
Fantastic Beasts 2 will arrive with its new twists and questions on November 16, and Fantastic Beasts 3 is expected to be released in theaters in 2020.