‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’: The Magic Just Isn’t There

fantastic beastsImage via Warner Bros

Harry Potter was more than a book series or a series of films.  Harry Potter was life.  Every summer, it seemed like either a new book or movie was released, and there was always something to look forward to and be excited about.  Then, I graduated high school, and my view on the world has become more and more nihilistic, but the lack of new Harry Potter – related media is only a part of it.

I get excited for movies that I want to see.  Batman? Yes.  Captain America? Yes.  The return of the Joker to the big screen? Yes.  But why am I not exited at all for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?  

First of all, this movie is really flying under the radar.  It makes sense. Between closing out last year with The Force Awakens and leading into another Star Wars movie this year, Batman and Superman going at it, Captain America and Iron Man going at it, Dory coming back, and a new Joker, it is absolutely no surprise that this film is really quiet.

Every studio seems to want to cash in on every property they own right now- just look at all of the movies Disney is putting out.  But why revisit Harry Potter’s world?  There is a big problem with doing so.  Not only am I not excited about Fantastic Beasts, I do not think it will be a very good movie at all, despite all of JK Rowling’s involvement.

Like I said before, Harry Potter was basically my life growing up.  So why am I not excited for another movie about his world?  I am a big fan of revisiting characters and worlds when it feels appropriate- I almost crapped myself when I saw Han Solo on the big screen, and yes I knew he was going to be in it.

But Fantastic Beasts isn’t your typical money-grub.  While it is still set in the same world as Harry Potter, there just isn’t anything that really ties the two together.  What made Harry Potter great for an entire generation of fans was the fact that we could relate to it.  Even though he’s from England and goes to wizard school, he still faces a lot of the same problems that we faced growing up.  It was really a coming-of-age story that happened to be about wizards and magic rather than a story about wizards and magic that happened to have a coming-of-age story included in it.

It won’t have the same feel to Harry Potter because it won’t take place in the familiar setting of Hogwarts castle.  Plus, Ron Perlman and Jon Voight are going to be in it, which just feels wrong for anything related to Harry Potter.  

In short, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them just won’t feel as personal as Harry Potter, and that is why I am not excited to see it.  I grew up with the same timeline as the Harry Potter movies; the last one came out during my senior year of high school.  I just don’t know how I would receive a movie that on the surface is supposed to be like Harry Potter, but I know it won’t be because there won’t be that connection.  Anyways, these have been my thoughts on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

What are your thoughts on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Let me know in the comments!

Daniel Radcliffe may not be done with ‘Harry Potter’

3720755294_421c2b9830_z.jpgImage via Warner Bros.

Daniel Radcliffe has stated that he would be open to return to the role that put him on the map- if the script were right.  Radcliffe states that he wouldn’t return unless he feels that the script was good, which is fair on his part.

What does this mean for Potter fans?  In my estimation, there are several places we (and JK Rowling) could go with this.

Scenario A is we see Harry in a capacity similar to the one at the end of Deathly Hallows Part 2.  Now his children are at Hogwarts, and he could mentor the new generation of Hogwarts students, sort of a passing-the-torch kind of role.

Scenario B, however, is much more entertaining to me.  I, and I’m sure many of you, would like to see Harry’s days as an auror on screen.  What interested me most about the original Potter series was after David Yates took the reins, and the series took a darker turn, filled with dark magic.  I would love to see darker and more visceral films that deal with darker subject matter, not that I think Rowling would write something like that- she is, in essence, a children’s writer, and she knows that if she writes anything that says ‘Harry Potter’ on the cover fans will make a mass Exodus to bookstores that could revive Borders (OK, maybe not).

It’s interesting that Radcliffe says he is open to return to the series under the right circumstances.  He has had a pretty stellar career since he left Hogwarts, taking on both the stage and the screen.  I had the opportunity to see him live in The Cripple of Inishmaan a few summers ago- he was fantastic live.  Plus, he has a new movie, Swiss Army Man, which looks weird but incredible at the same time.

I’d like to see him return to the character again one day, if the script is Force Awakens quality and not Phantom Menace quality.

As always, would love to hear what you think about this subject.  Drop a comment and we can discuss.