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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Is No ‘Harry Potter’

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them seems to be doing the job of giving Harry Potter fans a chance to relive their favorite magical world all over again. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a shock considering the number of people involved that also had important roles in the making of the Harry Potter series. Most notably, J.K. Rowling taking on the task of writing the screenplay.

That doesn’t mean that Fantastic Beasts doesn’t deviate from the path of its beloved predecessor. Yes, it does mention familiar ideas such as Quidditch and has an assortment of familiar people, but the tone and setting of the movie is in stark contrast. Rather than being focused on the lives of adolescents, as in Harry Potter, the main characters in this movie are all grown up. As such, the story line is substantially more grown up. The tone is darker and the plot more action-packed.

Since the main character, Newt Scamander, accidentally unleashes magical beasts in New York City, it isn’t surprising that the movie contains more no-maj (aka muggle) interaction. Rather than being set in a hidden away place such as Hogwarts, Fantastic Beasts is right in the thick of the non-wizarding world. Fans get a taste of what effect magic has on a no-maj. Jacob Kowalski represents one side of the spectrum in that he is completely open to the magical world, even stepping in to help despite his no-maj status. On the other side is the fanatical Mary Lou Barebone, dead set on eradicating all wizards.

Critics have plenty of positive comments on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but many acknowledge the amateur work of Rowling in writing a screenplay. Many reviews describe the pacing as ‘rough,’ with too much happening to distract from the important plot points. However, only Rowling could bring her type of genius to the table, and we can hope for things to only get better with the sequels.

Speaking of sequels,  IMDB has listed the next installment due to come out in 2018. We know that Dumbledore will be making an appearance in the next one, and fans are speculating on how he will be portrayed. Will his sexual orientation be made known, especially his feelings for Grindelwald? Also, what kind of reaction does the wizarding world have to this lifestyle? Some fans want this subject illuminated, whereas others feel it will make Dumbledore appear as the ‘token gay guy’.

Regardless of how he will be portrayed, he’s bound to be an interesting character and fans are dying to know who will play him. Richard Harris, son of the original Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series, is a favorite to play alongside Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. There’s nothing concrete to suggest he will get the role, though.

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