Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts 3?

The new Wizarding World Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore movie has been released after numerous delays and some behind-the-scenes drama that threatened to overshadow the entire film.

Yet now it’s here – and perhaps the biggest secret (from Dumbledore or otherwise) confusing fans is the curious case of Tina’s disappearance. After playing a starring role in the first two Fantastic Beasts films as Auror Tina Goldstein, actress Katherine Waterston is mysteriously absent from the new film. She’s not on any posters or trailers, and in the finished film only appears in a glorified cameo near the end.

So how much is Tina worth in Fantastic Beasts 3, and why isn’t she a bigger part of the story? We break down the key points below.

Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets?

Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, Eddie Redmayne and Alison Sudol on the poster for the first Fantastic Beasts movie Sky

Yes, but not as much as one might expect.

After playing a major starring role in the first two Fantastic Beasts films, Waterston barely appears in the third, his absence being explained as a consequence of his new role as head of the US Aurors office. Of course, that kind of responsibility doesn’t stop Britain’s Auror leader (Callum Turner’s Thésée Scamandre) from joining the fight.

Aside from a brief glimpse earlier, the only time we really see Tina in the film is at its conclusion, when her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) marries Muggle Jacob (Dan Fogler). Meeting old love Newt (Eddie Redmayne) outside Jacob’s bakery, Tina doesn’t say too much, but seemingly reconciles with Newt before her sister’s wedding. It’s implied that they may have rekindled their relationship – in the “future” of Harry Potter history they are married, so that makes sense.

And that’s more or less it. During the film’s main action, a similar role to Tina is played by Jessica Williams’ character, Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, an American charms expert and teacher of wizards who briefly appeared in the second Fantastic film. Beasts.

Was Tina Goldstein cut from Fantastic Beasts 3?

Katherine Waterston plays Porpentina _Tina_ Goldstein


Many fans have speculated that Waterston’s role was intentionally reduced for the third film after expressing his public support for trans rights. Many took this as a tacit criticism of Fantastic Beasts writer and creator JK Rowling, whose “gender-critical” views have become more public over the past couple of years.

In 2020, Waterston shared a Guardian article with the headline “Trans women pose no threat to cis women, but we make them up if we make them outcasts.” She pointed to a part of the article that said, “Sorry, you can’t be a feminist if you’re not for everyone’s human rights, especially the human rights of other women.”

“Because I was associated with Fantastic Beasts, it was important to communicate my position,” Waterston later said. The Independent. “We wondered if they could be grouped with other people’s opinions by association.”

Rowling has strongly denied any accusations of transphobia, and fans have wondered if Waterston’s role in the film was reduced as a result of her comments. It’s hard to say – no one has spoken publicly about the issue so far, and Gavia Baker-Whitelaw of The daily point argued persuasively that the production schedule for Fantastic Beasts does not match this course of events.

After all, Warner Bros. announced film locations and Eulalie Hicks’ larger role as early as 2019, months before Waterston publicly commented on any of those issues.

Filming was also scheduled to begin months before Waterston’s posts, although it was delayed by the pandemic. With that in mind, it could be that Tina’s role was always meant to be small.

Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston attend the World Premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Mike Marsland/WireImage

Still, there are some oddities in the tale. While Fantastic Beasts announced key locations and plans in 2019, the finished film is quite different from what was originally planned. For example, the story was announced to be set in Brazil – but the finished film is largely set in Berlin, with a detour to Bhutan near the end.

Former star Johnny Depp also filmed a scene as Gellert Grindelwald in September 2020 before being replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. Obviously, major changes were made to the planned film over time, so who’s to say Waterston’s role in the film wasn’t another casualty?

The truth is that unless Waterston or someone else talks about what happened, we’ll probably never know for sure what happened in Fantastic Beasts 3. Maybe Waterston her -even wanted to retire from the franchise, maybe she had a scheduling conflict, or maybe she had a separate script that was cut and rewritten for length.

It’s worth noting that Waterston still attended the premiere of the new film (see image above), which suggests there isn’t too much bad blood behind the scenes.

Really, all we know for sure is that there’s a Tina-shaped hole in Fantastic Beasts 3 – and fans are unlikely to stop wondering how it got there.

Read more: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore review – Still missing the magic

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is now in UK cinemas. For more, check out our dedicated Fantasy page or our full TV guide.

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