As I've been getting ready for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them panel for Comic Con, I've also been getting really excited for the movie in November! In fact, it's led to me reread the (text)book and to write a few blog posts about the upcoming films. Here's the first one.
#1 -- Newt gives Dumbledore his Phoenix.Please! I need to see this! Dumbledore is the only professor who believed Newt shouldn't be expelled. How cool would it be if we could see the story of how Dumbledore got Fawkes? And Newt gave it to him? This definitely has some great, touching potential.
#2 -- Fantastic Beasts being Used to Battle the Antagonist and Help Newt (there will be death . . . probably.)Not only is it cool that Newt has all these fantastic beasts with him, but I need to see him putting them to clever use. Is Percival the Auror chasing him? Use a Crup to nip at his ankles and slow him. Need to find something shiny? Use a Niffler to find it. Need to reach something up high? Use the Swooping Evil to get it. We all loved when Hedwig attacked the Death Eater in the Deathly Hallows movie, so give us more. And maybe . . . maybe . . . if we feel like having our hearts wrenched out (and we won't admit to it, but we kind of do) show one of Newt's loyalist beasts sacrificing itself to save him. Or, if the antagonist is pure evil, the antagonist killing it (which makes me already hate the hypothetical guy).
Or, if you want to give a really heart-wrenching all-time low for Newt, have him witness a dozen of his most beloved beasts being wiped out (I'm already dying with how tragic this is). Newt has already been described as feeling closer to animals than people, and he's stigmatized. People don't understand him. How terrible (but narratively perfect) would it be if the only creatures he felt he understood and who understood him and loved him were killed and he witnessed it? And even worse--have them being wiped out by people who don't understand them at all (see the symbolism of Newt feeling that way himself?)
The Harry Potter franchise is not afraid of killing off harmless creatures (rest in peace, Dobby).
By the way, would it be cool if an antagonist was a parselmouth and tried to turn Newt's snakes against him? Could be some great conflict there. And there are several serpents listed in the book.
#3 -- Clever Movie Titles (Fantastic Beasts and . . .)
You know how all the Harry Potter titles started with Harry Potter and . . .? I'd love to see the same thing with this trilogy.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and How to Catch Them
Fantastic Beasts and How to Use Them
Fantastic Beasts and How to Train Them
Fantastic Beasts and How to Care for Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Keep Them
For some ideas.
But really, did you guys look at the logo? Very Harry Potter-esque, with the "Fantastic Beasts" part being all big, and the rest of the title ("and Where to Find Them") being small, like the other Harry Potter titles were.
#4 -- Newt and Tina Falling in LoveLike I said, Newt has been described as stigmatized and feeling more comfortable around animals than he does around humans. That itself lends to a potentially great, and cute, romantic relationship. In Newt's bio, it says he married Tina--so I need to see how they end up together. How awesome would it be if Tina is the one person who really understands Newt and falls for him? Or Newt likes her and is a bit awkward (in a cute way, not a weird one (movie-Ginny, I'm looking at you)) with her? I realize that there hasn't actually been an indication that Newt is awkward, let alone with romance, but it could be a fun way to play with the relationship.
And of course, after the tragedy of my #2, Tina is one (human) person who will be there for Newt.
With that said, I have to admit, though, that romance is an aspect of writing that Rowling has yet to wow me with her abilities. . . . but this would be a good time to!
#5 -- Whimsical Moments in Between Dark MomentsThis might sound obvious, but listen for a second. The first Harry Potter books and films were lighter and more whimsical, and the series slowly got darker and darker. Where will this movie fit in? It's done by the same director who did the last four Harry Potter films, which were darker, but in, for example, Half-blood Prince, I felt we had fun interspersed with the dark. I don't see this film being quite that dark, but something like that would be a good combo. I need that humor and that terror, please.
#6 -- Lethifolds. Period.I'll talk more about this in my next Fantastic Beasts post, but Lethifolds are perhaps the creepiest magical beasts that roam the wizarding world. It's been, what? 15 years since the book came out, and I've never forgotten them. I hoped we'd see one it the Harry Potter series, but oh well.
Questions I Need Answered
As a bonus section, here are some questions I need answered:
The AntagonistOkay, who or what is the antagonist in this story? And will there be an overarching one for the whole trilogy? At this point the antagonist could be almost anything. Sure, we have Percival (an Auror) as a antagonist--but is he really it? Is the antagonist some of the creatures that get loose? Or another deadly creature? A beast? A person? A dark wizard (what was Grindelwald doing at this time? Admittedly, he was in the UK)? With the Salem Witch trials having just happened, could it actually be a Muggle or Muggle organization? What if it's not a person or creature, but an idea? Or internal conflict?
At this point, it could be almost anything. And I know I might sound weird at first, but think about it, how interesting would it be if it was a Muggle somehow? There is a fan theory that there was a past war between Muggles and Wizards, and that the Muggles won (after all, it is the Wizards that are in hiding, not the Muggles, and the Harry Potter books mentioned witch burnings for one of the reasons they had to go into hiding.)
Future Settings--Wizarding Worlds around the World?Okay, how cool is it that we get to see the Wizarding World in the U.S.? But there are two more movies after this one. Are we staying in the U.S. for all of them? Or going elsewhere? Newt's bio says he travels all over the world--will the other movies show us that?
Let's be honest, it would be a killer way to show what the Wizarding World is like in other parts of the world--something fans from all over the world have wondered about. And recently, Pottermore released a whole segment on the other Wizarding World schools. I mean, there is one in Japan, and we got some details about it.
On the one hand, it would be good marketing and exciting to have Newt travel all over. On the other hand, it might get repetitious if he is being reintroduced to a Wizarding World in a new country each installment. You could appease both, but you'd have to be careful.
Anything you need to see in this trilogy?
In my next Fantastic Beasts post, I'll be talking about the magical beasts that I need to see in the series.
If you are going to Salt Lake Comic Con, come to our panel on Fantastic Beasts:
Friday, September 2nd