It’s no secret that the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise is at a crossroads, but all is not lost and it can still be saved.
How could you forget seeing the very first teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? The Dumbledore name drop, the Harry Potter score; after five years audiences would return to the Wizarding World. It was a chance to explore the Wizarding world in different countries, across different time periods. We can now view the past from the point of view of the magic community. But this concept has hit some pretty significant roadblocks. There’s a lot going awry with the follow-up movie franchise to Harry Potter, but maybe Fantastic Beasts could still be saved.
What went wrong?
Controversy Part 1- Johnny Depp
The first major roadblock is the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp. Depp has been asked to step down from his role as Grindelwald in future Fantastic Beasts movies. This comes in response to the Depp-Amber Heard domestic abuse allegations.
It all began when the pair got married in 2015, with nearly a twenty-year age difference. The two divorced after only a year and Heard filed a restraining order against him claiming domestic abuse. Depp denied these claims. He stated that Heard was trying to secure financial compensation through claiming abuse. She withdrew the restraining order request during their deposition. The pair released a statement staying that their “relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but was always bound by love.”
The divorce was finalised in 2017, but in 2018 Heard published an op-ed in The Washington Post saying that she was abused. Depp sued Heard in 2019 over that article for defamation, once again denying those claims. The suit is still ongoing. Back in January, phone recordings were released by the Daily Mail that had Heard admitting that she hit Depp. In those same phone calls, they referred to each other as both being abusers/abused.
Depp himself said that he was afraid that the two of them together was a “crime scene.” In July 2020, Depp sued British newspaper ‘The Sun’ for libel after they called him a wife beater in a 2018 article. He just lost that case, with the course ruling that the claim in the article was “substantially true.” That was the final straw for Warner Bros. and Depp lost his role in Fantastic Beasts.
Here’s the deal, it’s unclear who the abuser is in this relationship. While many fans have rallied around Depp, tweeting #justiceforjohnnydepp, there’s no official news over who the abuser is. Furthermore, several people close to the couple claim that Heard was actually the abuser. There has even been news that Heard cut off the tip of Depp’s finger with a glass bottle.
While Depp has been asked to resign, Heard has not been asked to step down from her role in Aquaman 2. This creates a double standard against men in these cases that’s outraging fans. The truth is, we don’t know who abused who. It’s entirely possible it went both ways. But there is a significant amount of evidence that Heard abused Depp and she is not facing any of the consequences associated with that. Consequences that Depp is facing.
Depp played the key villain. Losing him will really harm the franchise as they lose one of their most important characters and best actors. It’s unclear what direction the story will go when they set Grindelwald up as such a major character. Several Depp fans are also voicing their outrage at the films for asking Depp to remove himself. The films are losing potential movie-goers by engaging in this scandal. It’s all horribly messy and complicated and wrought with controversy.
Controversy Part 2 – J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling, famous author of the Harry Potter series and screenwriter for the Fantastic Beasts films, is also under fire. She tweeted in defence of a woman who was fired for believing that there are only two genders. In a tweet, Rowling said “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.” She then linked her Twitter to anti-trans merchandise. This has caused some intense outrage in the Harry Potter community. Several fans have started referring to her as “she-who-must-not-be-named” as a riff on Voldemort’s alias in the books.
People love the Harry Potter books, and for some, it is difficult for them to justify loving the books and hating the author. This is especially true for Harry Potter fans who are more on the left or are a part of the LGBT community themselves. They have started to really separate the author from the books, starting a movement to give Harry Potter to the fans.
Now this works with Harry Potter because it has such an emotional weight to so many people. Fantastic Beasts does not have this weight. There really are not raving fans of Fantastic Beasts like there are Harry Potter fans. Fantastic Beasts is sort of viewed as the distant weird cousin to Harry Potter by the fandom. It’s seen as just a cash grab from Rowling, and Fantastic Beasts could seriously suffer from Rowling backlash.
Beyond the controversy that surrounds the films, the story of Fantastic Beasts itself has some serious issues causing a need to be saved. It all felt very disconnected from the integrity of the Harry Potter story. They blatantly created plot holes in some places. Examples being Prof. McGonagall’s cameo as a young teacher, even though she should be a very young child (if she was even born yet) in relation to the timeline. They also apparated into Hogwarts, which was made very clear in the Harry Potter books that you can’t do that. But the biggest one is that Creedence is a Dumbledore. Dumbledore’s history was something that was heavily explored in The Deathly Hallows. It feels unlikely that there would be a whole other Dumbledore that was never mentioned at all in The Deathly Hallows.
There are plenty of examples of the writers seemingly trying to attach Fantastic Beasts to Harry Potter. It’s just done in a way that comes off as weak and desperate. Like Nagini being a person and a character in the movie is a little bit pulling-at-strings-esque. The Black’s being a major presence in the story, which makes a little bit of sense as they are an old wizarding family. But for a story that started in America, they are really doing a lot of maneuvering to get some British Harry Potter relics involved in this story.
Now if Rowling wanted to expand on the Harry Potter arc, there were a ton of better options. The Marauders could have been a massive opportunity. They are a group that has a lot of fan interest with hundreds of fan fiction stories being written about the original Hogwarts trouble makers. Even a story about the founders of Hogwarts would have been more interesting. Perhaps Rowling wanted to expand on the world, or get away from Harry Potter. If that was her intention, then she should not be trying so hard to connect Fantastic Beasts to the Harry Potter storyline. It makes the story much more complicated and convoluted than it needs to be.
How it can be saved?
There are some good things about Fantastic Beasts that mean it can be saved. The cast is great, the concepts are there, the writers just need to get clear on what they want. If the writers can write a good script, the cast can deliver on it. I’d say the easiest move for the franchise to make would be to run away from Harry Potter. Sure, little cameos or connections are cool, but the writers are doing somersaults trying to connect the story to the larger Harry Potter storyline.
This story does not have to be a Harry Potter story. Rowling created an amazing universe through the Harry Potter books, she should just play in that sandbox. If the writers can let Newt Scamander have his own story then it could really shine on its own. It shows that this universe can stand on its own without Harry Potter as its heart. It gives the writers and the actors so much more space to be creative with their art.
Now with the above being said, the writers have sort of written themselves into a corner. They really went hard with making Creedence a Dumbledore. To be honest, who knows where this story is going to go. Now some people think that Grindelwald was lying to Creedence when he told him he was a Dumbledore, which would make sense. It would just sort of be some lame story telling though. For this franchise to do well, it’s going to have to make some serious 180 turns with the story.
The first movie did well because it was just Newt in a new environment (America) in his own story that was fairly contained. Crimes of Grindelwald got much bigger and much more complicated. All of a sudden the story that was just basically about a guy trying to get his pets back in a city that was afraid of magic is alluding to World War Two with complex moral issues following several people over an entire continent. Fantastic Beasts needs to get clear on its story and scale itself back.
Here’s what we know for sure about the third movie. It’s release date is pushed back a year (November 2021) and it will take place in Rio De Janeiro. Which is cool. Estimates also say that the five movies will take place from 1926-1945. We will deal with World War II in these movies in some way or another.
Now here are where the fan theories come into place which might mean Fantastic Beasts can be saved. Almost all of them hinge on Creedence’s true identity. It’s been a long-running theory that Ariana Dumbledore could have been an obscurus herself. Some powerful obscurus can manifest a dark twin… perhaps that’s who Creedence is and how he is related to the Dumbledores?
Also, the math doesn’t work out for Creedence being a Dumbledore. He was born after the Dumbledore mother died (1899) and their father was imprisoned (1891). It’s estimated that Creedence was born in 1908 so… there’s some weird stuff going on here. Either Creedence is at least ten years older than he thinks he is (unlikely) or Grindelwald was definitely lying to him about his parentage. Whatever the case, this plot point sort of feels like a red herring, or just some flat out bad writing.
The deal with Grindelwald
Now with Depp stepping away as Grindelwald, it’s safe to assume that they will replace him. Writing Grindelwald out of the story would be near-impossible, as Crimes of Grindelwald did so much leg work setting him up as the “big bad.” There’s also the very high likelihood that the series will end with the famous showdown between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. That takes place in 1945.
So who will replace Depp? It’s been reported that Rogue One star Mads Mikkelsen will step into the role. Now nothing is set in stone. When asked about it by IGN, he responded with “that is on the rumour basis as we speak. So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I’m waiting for that phone call.” It could be that while Warner Bros. wants Mikkelson in the role, official negotiations have not begun yet. The star does have a similar energy to Grindelwald in other roles and would be a good fit to replace Depp.
In short, the Fantastic Beasts films have gotten very messy but can be saved. There’s a lot that has gone wrong both on and off-screen, but there is hope for the franchise yet. The story will follow a five-movie arc, and so there are three movies left to complete the story.
There’s plenty of time for Fantastic Beasts to course correct and become a great franchise. We’ll just have to see if the mistakes they made early on are going to set the table for the rest of the story.
Thank you for reading our article on how the Fantastic Beasts movies can still be saved. Do you agree or disagree with our points or have anything to add? If so, leave us a comment below.
Read about 9 Harry Potter plot holes HERE.
Read IMDB information on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them HERE.
Book To Movie Adaptations Coming Soon
It seems that Hollywood is on an adaptation bender these days. With the upcoming Dune film to the To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before Netflix franchise, there is a lot of money to be made in book to screen adaptations. And there are a ton of them in the works. Here’s 15 book to movie adaptations that will soon be coming to a screen near you.
1. The House of Gucci – November 24th, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to watch this true story unfold. Written by Sara Gay Forden, the book goes into the real-life whodunnit of the murder of Maurizio Gucci. Starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, this film is coming out this November.
2. Where the Crawdads Sing – June 24, 2022
This bestseller is going to premiere next summer on Netflix. The book, written by Delia Owens follows Kya; a young woman with a turbulent life, who becomes the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. Daisy Edgar-Jones is set to play Kya.
3. The Nightingale – December 23, 2022
The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, follows the lives of two French sisters after their lives are torn apart by World War Two. The film stars sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning and is set to be released on 23 December 2022.
4. The School for Good and Evil – 2022
Written by Soman Chianani, The School for Good and Evil is a middle-grade standout. It takes place at twin schools that kidnap two children every year. Alongside the children of famous fairy-tale heroes and villains, these children are then trained at either the School for Good or the School for Evil. Eventually becoming the next generation of fairy tales. This film has big names in the cast, such as Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, and Kerry Washington. The main characters Sophie and Agatha will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso and Holly Sturton. Shadow and Bone mainstay Kit Young will also be in this adaptation. It has wrapped filming and will come out sometime in 2022.
5. All Quiet on the Western Front – 2022
Who else remembers reading this in school? The classic was written by Erich Maria Remarque and chronicles the horrors of World War One. The book is being adapted as a film by Netflix. It’s going to be directed by Edward Berger and will star Daniel Bruhl. This is actually the third time the book has been adapted for the screen and will premier in 2022.
6. House of the Dragon/ Fire and Blood – 2022
Rejoice Game of Thrones fans, there’s more coming your way. Based on the book Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin, this Game of Thrones spin-off follows the Targaryens 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It’s being produced by HBO and will be a ten-part limited series. It’s set to premiere in 2022.
7. Bridgerton (Season 2) – 2022
The pandemic hit Bridgerton has also been renewed for season two. The second season will cover The Viscount Who Loved Me, by Julia Quinn. This love story will centre around Anthony Bridgerton. There’s no official release date, but speculation puts it at 2022.
8. A Discovery of Witches (Season 3) – 2022
AMC +’s Discovery of Witches has been renewed for season three. The show is based on Deborah Harkness’All Souls Trilogy. It centres around actors Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer as a vampire and witch who fall in love. It’s set to premiere sometime in 2022.
9. Shadow and Bone (Season 2) – 2022/2023
Netflix’s Shadow and Bone has been confirmed for a second season. It will cover the events of the second book, Siege and Storm. It’s also unclear if it will dip into the Six of Crows duology. You can read more of our coverage of season two of Shadow and Bone here.
10. Ninth House – TBD
Written by the same author of Shadow and Bone, Ninth House is Leigh Bardugo’s adult fiction series. It follows Yale freshman Alex Stern, who has the ability to see ghosts. She is hired to oversee the dark magical dealings of Yale’s secret societies and gets caught up in forces beyond her imagination. Picked up less than two days after its release in 2019, Ninth House is in the works for an Amazon series adaptation. The show does not have a release date yet and is still in pre-production. Leigh Bardugo is currently writing both the sequel and the show, according to her Instagram.
11. They Both Die at the End – TBD
When Mateo and Rufus are told that they will die, they befriend each other to enjoy their last day. After the project fizzled out at HBO, They Both Die at the End has now been picked up for a tv show by Entertainment One. The show will also be written by the author of the book, Adam Silvera. There is no release date yet.
12. The Selection – TBD
A staple of 2010s dystopian fiction, The Selection by Kiera Kass is right up there with Divergent and the Maze Runner. The Selection follows America Singer, who is selected to compete in a Bachelor-like competition to select the next Queen. What feels frivolous quickly becomes a high-stakes competition for the fate of the country. The Selection is set to premiere on Netflix as a movie. Haifaa Al-Mansour is attached to direct. You can expect to be able to watch The Selection in mid-2021.
13. The Red Queen – TBD
Another mainstay of mid-2010’s dystopia is the Red Queen series, by Victoria Aveyard. The Red Queen is set in a world divided by blood colour. The silver-blooded have superpowers and rule over the kingdom. The red-blooded are powerless; living in poverty and serving as cannon fodder to the war. But when red-blooded Mare Barrow reveals the power to manipulate lightning, everything changes. Elizabeth Banks is executive producing and directing The Red Queen for a TV series at Peacock. She will also play a key role. We’re still waiting on a release date, but Aveyard has co-written the pilot.
14. Blackout – TBD
Blackout is a collection of short stories following black teenagers who stumble upon love in the middle of a blackout in New York City. Authors include Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Nicola Yoon, and Ashley Woodfolk. The collection is going to be adapted into a six-part anthology on Netflix. The Obamas are actually producing Blackout under their flagship Higher Ground banner and Temple Hill. There is no release date yet.
15. Long Way Down – TBD
Written by Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down takes place in the sixty seconds the main character decides whether or not to murder the man who killed his brother. It’s being adapted into a feature film by Universal and is produced by John Legend and Michael De Luca. There is no release date yet.
That’s our list of 15 book to movie adaptations coming out soon. Which one are you most looking forward to seeing? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out the five things you missed in Bridgeton Season One HERE.
Read iMDB information on The House of Gucci HERE.
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