Why We're Worried About The Fantastic Beasts Trailer

It had seemed like Warner Bros. had squeezed every possible ounce of money out of the Harry Potter franchise when it split the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, into two overlong, boring movies. And since there were no more books to adapt, the film franchise about the Boy Who Lived was over...right? Wrong.


In 2016, we'll get Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a movie that takes place seven decades (!) before Harry Potter is even born. While it'll definitely be a hit at the box office, we're more than a little concerned that this latest flick may not be so magical...

Eddie Redmayne Was Terrible In Jupiter Ascending

Our hero in Fantastic Beasts is Newt Scamander, a British wizard who's arrived in New York with a suitcase full of magical creatures (though how he got those through customs is anybody's guess). He's played by Eddie Redmayne, who won the Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in 2014's The Theory of Everything. He also played the villain in 2015's garbage heap of a movie, Jupiter Ascending. While Jupiter was a total dump from the get-go, with ill-advised writing and direction from the Watchowskis, Redmayne stood out from the rest of the cast as being exceptionally terrible. His method for delivering his lines as antagonist Balem Abrasax consisted of two modes: whisper-mumble, and then just yell. While Redmayne's Oscar certainly proves he's capable of giving a winning performance, he may not be capable of making it work in a big budget Hollywood film.

The Source Material Is Pretty Thin

The book Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was released back in 2001. It was meant to be a fun little treat for fans, as it's a reproduction of Harry Potter's actual textbook from Hogwarts, complete with Harry and Ron's notes in the margins. So, just to be clear, the source material for this new film trilogy is a fictional textbook. It's not another novel, or even a short story—it's a textbook. That's like if Paramount decided to make a new Star Trek movie based on the Enterprise's diagnostic manuals. Sure, Trekkers would eat it up, but that's a pretty lame starting point for everyone else.

There Will Probably Be Awkward References To Harry Potter

Since Fantastic Beasts takes place in the Potterverse's past, it's technically a prequel. That means we'll get to enjoy lots of hidden easter eggs for the fans who've read each book three times over, and watch the movies on an endless loop. That also means that we'll probably get plenty of awkwardly shoehorned references to the Potters, the Weasleys, and maybe a Dumbledore thrown in for good measure. These references will have little or nothing to do with the plot, and will only be there so fans in the movies can lean over to their companions and annoyingly tell them, "oh, that's from the books."

That Hairdo

There's a scene early in the trailer where we get a glimpse at the Magical Congress of the United States, where we see a lady with a ridiculously high beehive hairdo all done up in gold or something. Sure, the members of the wizarding community often look a little weirder than their muggle (or "no-mag") counterparts, but there's usually a chance that they should be able to blend in with the rest of society. That kind of goes with the territory of keeping all this wizard stuff secret and underground, right? So why would this lady, whoever she is, go out of her way to look completely abnormal? That look would never pass in 1940s New York, no matter how hip that city might be.

What's The Point?

It's difficult not to look at this new movie as anything other than a cynical cash-grab on the part of Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter movies—all eight of them—told the story of one boy's journey from poverty and an abusive family to magical power, education, and heroism. It's a great story—and it's over. So what are we going back to the well here for? We've already gotten the most important story this world has to offer. Anything that comes before it can't be as serious as what already came after—especially since we haven't heard anything about the super important adventures of Newt Scamander in the original Harry Potter movies. So if no one at Hogwarts has mentioned the heroic deeds performed by that guy who wrote their zoology textbook, why should we care about what he does?

This Was Supposed To Be For Kids

There's a reason why the first Harry Potter book stars a 10-year-old boy: because it's for children. Harry is a surrogate for readers, a character with whom the children enjoying the stories can identify with and imagine hanging out with. In fact, you may have forgotten that the entire series of Harry Potter novels is Young Adult, but it just so happened that older kids and even adults had a good time with the stories. Ultimately, however, the world of Harry Potter is meant to give kids a way to imagine a wondrous, magical world outside of their own. Fantastic Beasts, however, seems to star no kids. It doesn't take place at a school. It features adults talking about "magical creatures" in deadly serious tones. It is entirely ridiculous. The problem is that Harry Potter fans have all grown up in terms of their ages, but they still have the minds and tastes of children. That this movie is coming out and is pandering to a batch of giant babies with money is the most worrisome factor of all.