Film Discussion

2018 Movie Preview: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Not much is known about Fantastic Beasts 2, titled The Crimes of Grindelwald. Still currently being filmed, details regarding the script and plot have been kept under close wraps to avoid spoilers reaching audiences. So what do we know about the second instalment to this cinematic series set in the world of Harry Potter?

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them originally started out as a short book written by J. K. Rowling, famous author of the Harry Potter novels. Fantastic Beasts was a textbook for the magical natural world describing different fictional species and how to care from them. It was supposed to be the sort textbook that Harry and his classmates would have used at Hogwarts. Following the massive worldwide success of the Harry Potter franchise which has spanned seven books, eight films and a two-part play in the West End, Warner Bros. decided to adapt Fantastic Beasts into a film. Rowling made her screenwriting debut, adapting her small manual into a feature film starring Eddie Redmayne as the main character, Newt Scamander, a wizard who is also an expert in magical creatures. The film was a massive success at the box office and received a positive responses from critics.

J. K. Rowling is exceptionally good at fictional world building. With Harry Potter she has created a whole universe that looks exactly like ours but where the laws of physics are bent and where magic is used on a daily basis for both good and evil in every way imaginable. From characters and family trees, to spells, magical creatures and places, she fills every story she writes with so much detail that she has essentially created a universe so rich that it could spin a dozen films exploring its different stories. With the first Fantastic Beasts, Rowling set out to explore the history of the wizarding world in depicting events that take place many years before Harry Potter is famously attacked by Voldermort. It is a prequel but also a new story with new characters and in the new location of magical New York.

At the end of the first film, Scamander has helped to uncover the identity of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). He was assisted by witch Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and all three characters will appear in the new sequel. The outline of the story released earlier this year is one of good battling evil with Scamander aided by a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) seeking to stop Grindelwald from his campaign of violence across Europe, while the wizarding world grows ever more divided.

The later Harry Potter films explored dark themes and contained a lot more violence, but still portrayed an adolescent’s view of the world. The Fantastic Beasts films, although containing a multitude of child-friendly magical creatures, are still much more adult and the last one explored ideas such as child abuse, the death penalty and the exploitation of animals. This new instalment promises to be just as grown-up, revealing all the parts of the magical world that Harry Potter overlooked.

The locations for Fantastic Beast 2 will move from New York back to Europe with Paris to be the centre of events for the movie. Audiences will hopefully be treated to a magical view of the city in much the same way they have seen the hidden wizarding side of London and New York. Set in 1927, it is reported to be introducing the next phase of Harry Potter history on screen. Later films are rumoured to cover events up until 1945, which is the year a certain dark wizard named Tom Riddle (AKA Voldermort) graduated from Hogwarts.

J. K. Rowling has penned the screenplay and David Yates, a veteran of the Harry Potter films, will be directing. The film is set to be released in November 2018, but luckily viewers can fill the waiting time with plenty of magical entertainment with the eight Harry Potter films already available and first adventure of Newt Scamander.

1 comment

  1. *Edited

    Uh, Fantastic Beasts wasn’t at all more “adult” than the Harry Potter series. How dismissive and rude.

    The mating dance scene? The niffler? A stick insect blowing a raspberry?

    Come on. It was ten times more childish than Harry Potter ever was, which explored themes of death, murder, trauma, fascism, torture, the loss of innocence, bigotry, sadomasochism, and discrimination. It didn’t gloss over anything. Fantastic Beasts had absolutely none of the gravitas and tragedy that Potter had.

    People must be ageist against teens to suggest that every film they star in must be “lightweight”.

    Fantastic Beasts was dark relative to other blockbusters, but relative to its own franchise, no. It was the most childish, silliest, lightest film of its franchise. Stop being so averse to admitting that the Harry Potter series is mature. It didn’t “gloss over” anything. Fantastic Beasts glossed over a lot. Never showed the bloody and tragic consequences of violence that Potter did.

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