Unwilling to forego the mega success Harry Potter Franchise, Warner Bros launches Harry Potter And The Cursed Child then takes on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in kicking of the fall list of most anticipated movies, according to the ticket selling site Fandango.
Since its debut in 1997, the Harry Potter series has exponentially accelerated towards a road that never ends. J.K Rowling’s interminable creativity and Warner Bros’ commercial eagerness pushed forward one movie after another, each tagging along the seven novels that collectively marked a generation of young adult literature. Upon hitting the grand finale, Warner Bros cut Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows into two parts, stretching it up to July 2011 when it was finally forced to end.
The cease fire would last for five years before Harry Potter And The Cursed Child premiered at the Palace Theater in London. Still, a show could hardly catch as much momentum as an internationally distributed film adaptation. It would be challenging for a live performance that features original characters only in subordination to a brand new line centering around Harry’s strangely named children to reach fans worldwide. Stage effects also stale in comparison to striking digital productions, and in a genre as visually demanding as fantasy, this inadequacy could fatally prevent Cursed Child from living up to the standard of its acclaimed precedents. That Rowling keeps tweeting mixed signals regarding more Harry stories consequently makes Cursed Child less authentic as it falls short of the “canonical seven”.
By contrast, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits smart by having just the right amount of Harry association to utilize his fan base, but not so much as to be subject to constant criticism when juxtaposed to the originals. Vaguely known as a textbook author at Hogwarts school, Newt Scamander is only remotely related to Harry in being part of the same wizard universe. In critic Scott Mendelson’s words, Fantastic Beasts constitutes neither prequel nor sequel to the familiar characters in Harry’s circle, but “a mega-budget franchise wholly grounded in the notion that it takes place in the same general world as a prior franchise we grew up loving”.
This way, Fantastic Beasts takes advantage of major Harry references such as the famous Hedwig’s Theme and usual Muggles versus wizards clashes, without becoming inferior to something that cannot easily be topped. It is Harry Potter’s American parallel meticulously advertised on pottermore.com through a series called “History of Magic in North America” that sets up the premises of the New York story, where fantastic beasts escape Newts’ briefcase for a monster catching adventure that will turn big apple upside down in a heck of a trilogy. Behind this deliberate geographical difference sits much of the Harry team, with Yates directing, Rowling scripting, and Heyman producing, a clear signal that the clean slate will differ but not disappoint.
That being said, Fantastic Beasts still suffers controversy as many worry that expanding “Potterverse” beyond Britain (at least explicitly) risks losing the magic in unexplained mysteries. Apart from special powers and flying brooms, Potter’s magic does indeed stem from the unknown, the complete indifference to time, space, and technology. There is no doubt that J.K Rowling is still rolling and Harry will keep living if she wants him to, but whether or not the magic will last through continued disclosure is the real question.