Last month The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), the third instalment of a doomed new wizarding franchise based in the world of Harry Potter, completely flopped. Its opening box office weekend was a mere $43 million, $20m less than The Crimes of Grindlewald (2018), and $30m less than the film that kicked off the trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016).
The thing is—the first Fantastic Beasts movie is good! It introduced a new world and a new set of charming characters. What can happen in 1920s wizard America? Let’s find out! Then, in 2018, The Crims of Grundleballs failed to capitalise on its promise. Instead we got a meandering, contrived movie about a magical Darth Vader-type nobody cares about. I was so disappointed I made this video, wherein I take it upon myself to write two (much better) sequels to Fantastic Beasts. The sequels we should have got:
It’s no secret that I’m not a huge Harry Potter fan. I was the right age for ‘pottermania’, and I devoured the first four books when I was a child. Then book five came out and it was HUGE, and I’d just finished The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, which is also HUGE (and much better), so I didn’t bother. Time went on, as it does, and I never came back to the wizard world. I watched the movies as they came out, with mixed feelings, but then I grew out of those as well. (To this day I have never seen the final film, nor read the book, so as far as I’m concerned they’re all still shouting at each other in that tent…)
That said, I genuinely enjoyed the first Fantastic Beasts movie (except the anticlimactic bad guy reveal), and I hate to see wasted potential. If the studio behind this franchise truly wanted to tell new stories they could have turned Fantastic Beasts into a series as big as the original Harry Potter, or even bigger! Imagine stepping into a movie theatre in 2026 to enjoy Fantastic Beasts 7: Curse of Wolf Mama or something. Instead, they chopped and screwed it into oblivion chasing nostalgia and short-term gains. Why tell an original story when you can just write some fan fiction about a young, sexy Dumbledore? As a result, it looks like this once-promising property has cast its final spell…
(Side note: how is Kevin Feige the ONLY person in Hollywood who seems to be able to plan a multi-movie franchise correctly?)
So now it’s 2022. The Secrets of Mumblecore has underperformed and may very well be the kiss of death for all future HP-related film projects. If only they had listened to me! If only they had hired ME, a British vlogger with zero experience writing and directing feature films! A person with only a casual interest in the Potterverse and a foggy, unfinished recollection of the original stories. Then again, maybe that’s what a franchise like this needs. The first Fantastic Beets movie was (mostly) a jolt of new energy and fresh ideas, it felt like the start of something new, but then it was crippled by over-attachment to the source material. In an attempt to make it more Potter-y, the filmmakers seem to have missed what made it special.
When they could have made:
Fantastic Beasts 2: Danger at the Games (2018)
Newt and the gang are honoured guests at the 1928 Tri-Wizard Tournament, this year being held in New York City! As the town swells with tourists of all shapes and sizes, the competing school teams gather at a newly-built stadium. Newt has been retained to look after the magical beasts involved in various challenges, but something isn’t quite right… A cabal of shadowy wizard gangsters are attempting to rig the games! The students are in more danger than they know, but the only way to save them is to join them! “Looks like we’re going back to school.”
Fantastic Beasts 3: Showdown at the Fair of a Lifetime* (2022)
In 1939 muggles hosted the New York World’s Fair, an iconic showcase of ideas and technology, but it wasn’t the first… Join Newt and his other character friends at the site of the 1932 Wizarding World’s Fair, a bustling melting pot of magical ideas and new inventions! One invention in particular has the crowd excited, but not everything is as it seems. An existential threat to the wizard way of life is about the be unleashed. “Time to muggle up, bubble boy.”
Alas, we don’t live in this timeline.
When Warner Bros. realise what a mistake they made they can give me a call. In the meantime I’ll be sitting here, still depressed they don’t exist… – C x