Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! This week, hosts Holly, David, and Julia tackle Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its place in the larger Harry Potter expanded universe. Spoilers? Yes! Possibly accurate speculation? Yes! Sorry this one ran even longer than normal, but… Harry Potter!
Holly and I went to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and we’ll probably be podcasting on it soon (statute of limitations and all…), but I thought I would muse for a moment on the fact that this is the beginning of a five movie franchise. I’ve written one of these sorts of posts before, and hope to continue them. So what about this series?
I’ll try to avoid spoilers! But a few things to be said first. This movie was based on a character who was known only by name in the Harry Potter books – the in-universe author of the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” That book is a textbook used in the magical creatures class that Hagrid teaches. So this film is a way to go back and see this fictional author, Newt Scamander, in his element with all kinds of cool magical beasts. Which seems great as a one-off book.
Also to note, this movie is set in the earlier part of the 20th century, during the wizarding war centered around Grindelwald. So there’s plenty of unexplored/unexplained storytelling to explore there – but as far as we know from the Harry Potter books, it’s not like Newt Scamander’s name comes up as the hero of that war.
Alright, with those elements out of the way, let’s talk about what I might do with the films, and then briefly discuss some of the current rumors and talk!