What “Fantastic Beasts” Needs to Do to Keep Harry Potter Fans Interested

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In just under a few weeks, Harry Potter fans across the globe will finally get a chance to experience JK Rowling’s latest adventure when their next film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives in theaters nationwide. The film is significant for Potter fans, as it’s the first theatrical adventure back into the Wizarding World since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 back in 2011, albeit the two prospective stories taking place roughly sixty years apart from each other.

Although Fantastic Beasts is meant to be its own prospective story, the film faces a big challenge of attracting the audience that once waited in line for the amazing world that Rowling had created. Fantastic Beasts may share a universe with The Boy Who Lived, but it faces a challenge of being a successful Potter spin-off that almost entirely has nothing to do with the Harry Potter saga. The story takes place sixty years prior to the events of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, stars none of the characters from the Potter franchise, and takes place on the opposite end of the Wizarding World, in a 1920s New York.

Longtime Potter fans will be intrigued to see what new surprises JK Rowling has worked up for the new series, recently announced to be the first of five films which will stretch until 2024. So today, we’re taking a look at some of the things Fantastic Beasts will need to do in order to keep Harry Potter fans invested for a five-movie run, and to keep fans interested in Rowling’s ambitious new era of the Wizarding World going forward.

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Build a Connection Between Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter:

The most interesting thing about Fantastic Beasts is that the film actually has very little to do with Harry Potter at all, taking place over sixty years prior to the murder of Harry’s parents. In order to survive and resonate with long-time Potter-fans, the movie series will need to manage to build a connection between this new series and the Harry Potter saga. Rowling spend decades building up her Wizarding World, and now she’ll have to take the journey futhur back than ever before with this series and find a way to incorporate that into the fold once again.

Stay True to the Source Material:

One of my nitpicks about the recently released, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child novel, is that the writers, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany fail to stay true to what makes Harry Potter unique. Rules that have binded Harry’s world were disregarded for the sake of storytelling, undoing Rowling’s work in building up the Wizarding World rules and laws. In order to keep Harry Potter fans satisfied, Fantastic Beasts will need to be able to tell its own unique story, but not put the Harry Potter franchise at risk in doing so. Luckily, unlike Cursed Child, this film is written entirely by Rowling herself, so we have much faith that it will resonate much better with fans.

Explore the Hidden Areas of the Harry Potter Universe:

Whether it stands as a great film or not, Fantastic Beasts will be groundbreaking in its sense of storytelling direction. We’re thrilled to see Rowling take the underground Wizard universe further than ever before, set in 1920s New York City, twenty years after the death of Ariana Dumbledore, and roughly fifteen years prior to the legendary battle between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald in Europe. Much of the new film series takes place in areas that later creates the very foundation that the Harry Potter franchise is built on, and with her new film series, we hope Rowling will be able to take her storytelling to the next level for fans to finally get a glimpse at the hidden areas of the Wizard World, that fans have heard so much about, but never truly experience.

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Keep it Focused:

One  of my biggest concerns for the outcome of Fantastic Beasts is that it comes straight from Warner Bros, fresh off the over-bloated three-film The Hobbit franchise and a never ending downfall of the DC Comics, shows that with the departure of Alan Horn in 2012, The Warner Bros company is having some trouble with their shared universes. What Fantastic Beasts will need to do is to make sure there’s enough intriquing story to keep audiences strapped in for four sequels. If there’s no story in the film, don’t make it or before you know it, you’ll be the next Hobbit in the fandom world.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters nationwide November 18th! Be sure to get your tickets now and check back here on TVOverMind for our review coming soon!