JK Rowling makes her screenwriting debut in the Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which hit theaters Friday, November 18th. Yet again, Rowling astonishes all with her ability to expand the wizardry universe in this stand-alone feature. The story unfolds in 1920s New York City featuring an all new cast of wizards and creatures.
Eddie Redmayne did a tremendous job playing the animal-loving underdog, Newt Scamander. Scamander is an English Magizoologist and unlikely protagonist; preferring the company of strange and magical animals to that of people. For those who followed the Harry Potter series, Scamander is similar to Nevil Longbottom and Luna Lovegood.
Potterfans are familiar with Scamander as the textbook writer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He believes animals to be misunderstood much like himself. His goal in coming to America is to release the thunderbird back to its home.
When his creatures are accidently set free, havoc is apparent between muggles (called the No-Mag in America) and the wizarding-kind.
** Spoilers **
But focusing on Newt Scamander losing his magical creatures would be missing the point. At the end of the film, he recaptured all of his missing beasts. This isn’t much to go off of for a sequel.
In fact, another four installments have been confirmed by Warner Bros. Fans suspect that Rowling has some ideas up her sleeve for the future of the franchise.
At the climax, Scamander discovers Gilbert Grindelwald, the most powerful Dark Wizard at the time, only surpassed by Lord Voldemort. He is known for his desire to control Muggles and take possession of the Deathly Hallows.
Grindelwald was connected to Albus Dumbledore through their childhood in Godric’s Hallow. The two brilliant, young wizards shared an interest in the Deathly Hallows for different purposes. It was after the death of Dumbledore’s sister, Ariana, their friendship ended. Dumbledore went on to defeat Grindelwald in 1945 in the greatest wizard duel; afterward, he was placed in prison.
“And at the height of his power, when Dumbledore knew he was the only one who could stop him, he dueled Grindelwald, and beat him, and he took the Elder Wand.” –Harry Potter
Some predict the next films will illustrate Grindelwald’s rise to power and his relationship to the Dumbledore family. There are theories that Grindelwald takes such a liking to Credence for his power as an Obscurus because Ariana Dumbledore was herself an Obscurus. He observed how powerful she was and wanted to use it to have control over wizards and muggles.
There will likely be a battle in the last film between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
There has also been speculation if Credence is really dead. Scamander saw a piece of Credence’s Obscurus escape at the end of the film. Maybe he thinks there is hope for Credence and chooses not to say anything in the presence of The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA).
The next chapter will also explore the future of the no- mag communities and the magical communities of America. Many Americans were outraged after Senator Shaw was killed by an Obscurus.
Scamander points out how backwards the laws in America are in comparison to Britain. In the United States, there is no inter-marriage between muggles and wizards. This also puts a restraint on some of the main characters the audience was introduced to in the new film.
Questions continue if Newt will be the central character or if the story will shift to Dumbledore? Will the next film take the audience back to England and the beloved hallways of Hogwarts? Does Voldemort play into the prequel as it progresses?