Fantastic Beasts never really caught on with Potter fans and moviegoers. But it seems that has little to do with Newt Scamander himself.
the fantastic beasts and where to find them The franchise will see its third film release in April 2022, and although Warner Bros. recently released new promotional material, there has been very little fanfare surrounding the new installment. However, that’s no big surprise. The spin-off series never really took off in the same way as its predecessor, Harry Potter, did. That’s not to say the franchise is in any way a flop or failure. The first two films made a solid profit and received mostly positive reviews from critics. However, the overall response to the franchise from Potter fans and moviegoers in general is lukewarm at best, and it doesn’t seem to be warming up anytime soon.
The reason for this may have little to do with the franchise itself. It is, after all, well-written, shot with the same magic as the Potter franchise, and filled with a talented cast of up-and-coming actors. However, the show’s various behind-the-scenes controversies, from JK Rowling‘s anti-trans comments to Johnny Depp’s casting, have dampened fan interest. In addition to these scandals, some of the creative decisions around the franchise may also have turned viewers off. Perhaps the most obvious is the choice to base the upcoming Wizarding Journey on a relatively unknown story, which has been accused of altering existing canon. Of course, not every series has to be a billion-dollar hit. However, it seems fantastic beasts never really took off or reached its Potter-level potential – but why?
Johnny Depp’s casting as Grindelwald caused a scandal
fantastic beasts was just a movie when he courted his first scandal, one that would damage his reputation and contribute to lack of interest from fans and audience members alike. In 2016, Warner Bros. announced that Johnny Depp is set to play the role of dark wizard Grindelwald. The backlash began when Depp was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Many fans and critics were angry that the studio chose to work with him while the allegations and subsequent investigations were ongoing. JK Rowling backed Depp, but the controversy had already cast a dark shadow over the franchise.
In 2020, the studio finally fired Depp and recast the role of Grindelwald. Hannibal actor Mads Mikkelsen has taken on the role and will make his debut in Dumbledore’s secrets. While the franchise ultimately resolved this controversy, there’s no denying that Depp’s casting had an effect on the franchise’s overall outlook, with many turning away. It may have been difficult for the franchise to take off when it was already in hot water.
JK Rowling’s anti-trans comments have alienated Harry Potter fans
Author JK Rowling and her anti-trans comments have been cited as another major reason for the lack of hype surrounding the fantastic beasts franchise. In 2020, Rowling came under fire for a Twitter post in which she expressed what many believed to be anti-trans rhetoric. She doubled down on those comments in a lengthy Twitter thread and subsequent blog post. His comments drew a lot of reactions from the media, the public and Potter fans. Among the critics were Harry Potter actors. Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have both spoken out and shown their support for the trans community.
Rowling’s comments were no small controversy and would change the way many fans would interact with the show. People on Twitter and Tumblr said at the time that the comments had “ruined” the Harry Potter series for them, and many have completely given up on their support for the wizarding world. While there are still plenty of Potter fans out there, this controversy has undoubtedly alienated many fans and potentials. fantastic beasts the viewers.
Fantastic Beasts might not have been the spinoff fans were looking for
Another reason that fantastic beasts may not have taken off is that it may just not have been what spin-off fans expected or wanted. The franchise is based on a textbook for one of Harry Potter’s classes at Hogwarts. The manual, titled fantastic beasts and where to find them, is based on magizoology and the care of magical creatures, written by franchise head Newt Scamander. Choosing to create a franchise out of something so obscure may have been a good idea on the one hand. With fantastic beasts coming out so close to the end of the Potter franchise, the series had to be different to succeed. However, that may have been a little too far from familiarity for some, with a few fans courting little interest from the get-go.
Potter fans have a list of spin-offs they wanted to see on screen after the Potter series, and fantastic beasts was not one of them. Topping the list was a Mauraders-era movie based on Harry’s father, his friends, and the First Wizarding War. Others included a series dedicated to the founders of Hogwarts and, more recently, talks about a cursed child movie adaptation. While Newt Scamander is a sweet and lovely track, perhaps Remus Lupine and Sirius Black might have received a bit more fanfare had they been given a spinoff instead.
Several other factors may also explain why the fantastic beasts the franchise never took off, like the human incarnation of Nagini perpetuating racist stereotypes. Perhaps another reason is simply that the franchise was launched too soon after Harry Potter, and fans didn’t have enough time to miss it. Maybe the reason is a combination of some or all of these things. Either way, the franchise, while not a flop, doesn’t seem to be picking up much steam with fans and moviegoers alike, even with the third movie releasing so soon. It seems that the series is unable to capture a wider audience following its various controversies and creative issues. fantastic beasts is a franchise that seems destined for low-key, lower-key success.
To see how the franchise continues, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore hits theaters on April 15.
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