Fantastic Beasts! Here We Go Again
Regular readers of “The Three Broomsticks” may recall that my pet theory for the Fantastic Beasts franchise revolves around the mysterious Lestrange boy who was a classmate of Tom Riddle, whom I’ve called Lytus Lestrange as a placeholder, and who is going to be the son of Leta Lestrange. (If this seems bonkers to you, catch up on the theory here. It may still seem bonkers, though.)
I thought the theory was fairly straightforward: Lytus would be Leta and Newt’s love child, case closed. But shortly after I published that theory, we began receiving details about the movie. I don’t have much to make of Credence being Leta’s half brother (except that it will further complicate matters), or her father being Corvus. No, the interesting part is that Leta is engaged to Theseus Scamander.
First of all, this means that the wedding we will see in the franchise (which will be attacked by Grindelwald and company) won’t necessarily be Queenie and Jacob’s; it could well be Theseus and Leta’s. There are conflicting sources on what Leta’s role was in the very violent wedding where she died – attacker or bride – but either way, don’t expect a happy ending to any weddings in these films.
But the real question is, who is Lytus’s father? Is it the literal Theseus? Or is it the allegorical Theseus (i.e., Newt)?
And while I was watching my most anticipated movie of 2018, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, I had an epiphany: What if we’re not the only ones wondering about the parentage of Lytus Lestrange? What if Leta herself doesn’t know?
If Leta is engaged to Theseus but still has a complicated relationship with Newt, it’s perfectly in the realm of possibility that she may have gotten pregnant from either one – after all, Donna Sheridan had the same thing happen with three men (though not brothers). It would certainly make for some truly fascinating dynamics among the Scamander brothers and Leta.
I was most intrigued by the line in the latest trailer, “You’re too good, Newt. You’ve never met a monster you couldn’t love.” It definitely sounds like “a monster” has double meanings. Possibility #1: It’s Credence, the Obscurial half brother whom Leta probably has a somewhat strained relationship with. But I hope it’s not quite as straightforward; I hope the “monster” in question is Leta herself.
What could drive Leta to consider herself a monster? Getting pregnant and not knowing which brother is the father seems like it would do it, especially for a pure-blood in the 1920s. Recall that Donna Sheridan, who is in a much less lofty societal position, condemned herself as a “stupid reckless little slut!” until her friends talked some sense into her.
Since we are drawing the parallels already, I’m going to pursue this further; here is how the Fantastic Beasts franchise will come to exactly mirror the Mamma Mia! films, song for song. If you think this is a silly endeavor, you are correct. If you think this is too silly an endeavor, I suggest you go listen to some ABBA to bring joy back into your life.
Leta and Newt
Most of the songs will be done by Newt and Leta since their relationship will pull focus in this coming movie.
We open on Newt and Leta, who really miss each other and end up doing “One of Us,” with Leta “sorry for herself, feeling stupid, feeling small, wishing he had never left at all.”
Eventually, though, Leta moves on and ends up as the fiancée of Newt’s brother, Theseus. We will see her trying to convince others (and maybe herself) about how in love she is with the older Scamander brother: “Honey, honey, how he thrills me!” Instead of “You’re a doggone beast!”, expect her to say, “You’re a fantastic beast!” Boom, there we have the franchise’s title.
However, when Newt and Leta reunite, it’ll probably be a full “Mamma Mia” moment as all their old feelings come flooding back. They will confess to being “brokenhearted, blue since the day he parted.”
At first, they’ll probably reminisce about “Our Last Summer.” The lyrics are even geographically appropriate for the movie’s location; they are all about “the Paris night,” and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will take place largely in Paris.
Then Leta will claim that she’s cared for Newt all this time, along the lines of “S.O.S.” We know how much innate goodness Newt has; it’s easy to picture Leta cajoling him: “The love you gave me – nothing else can save me!” And lest anyone worry that the term “S.O.S.” is anachronistic, it was introduced in the 1900s, well before the 1920s when the films take place.
Newt will eventually realize that Leta is a “taker,” to use Queenie’s words. Newt will confront Leta and demand, “What’s the name of the game? Does it mean anything to you?”
After all the unpleasantness with Leta, Newt may be ready to swear off love and spend his life with his beasts. But Tina will show up and sweetly ask him to “Take a Chance on Me.”
When Newt does eventually begin to kindle a romance with Tina, a jilted Leta will do “The Winner Takes It All.”
Leta will end up marrying Theseus, and just like in Mamma Mia!, she and Theseus will do “When All Is Said and Done.” Just as it ends, their wedding will be attacked – just like Donna Sheridan, Leta will not live long past her wedding (or in Leta’s case, live at all past her wedding).
Young Albus and Gellert
While Newt may be the lead of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, more and more of the focus will be on Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Surely, we are eventually building to flashbacks to their youth, and there are several ABBA songs that are very apropos.
“I Have a Dream” seems awfully hopeful for most characters in Crimes of Grindelwald, so I’m betting it will come into play with a young Dumbledore through flashbacks. Young Albus will be so taken with Grindelwald, he will come to believe in “something good in everything I see.” But most significant is the lyric, “If you see the wonder of a fairy tale, you can take the future.” This speaks to Albus’s connection to “The Tale of the Three Brothers.”
“Dancing Queen” will obviously also be used in a flashback to when Dumbledore and Grindelwald were “young and sweet, only seventeen.” Perhaps we will see how Dumbledore fell for a young Grindelwald and how Grindelwald used those feelings to manipulate Albus.
That seduction will take a dark turn when Grindelwald begins convincing Albus to focus only on him, not on his siblings: “Don’t go sharing your devotion! Lay all your love on me.” Indeed, Albus does just that for a summer, until it ends in tragedy. (Upon reflection, the biggest difference between Fantastic Beasts and Mamma Mia! is the mortality rate.)
Credence and the Maledictus
While it’s hard to guess where Credence’s storyline will take him (and how it will all connect to everything else), we can guess at least a little as to his relationship with the character played by Claudia Kim: the Maledictus.
“Does Your Mother Know?” will probably be between the side characters, just as it was in Mamma Mia! Most likely, the Maledictus will use it when she meets Credence at the beginning of their relationship, not knowing what a painful topic his mother is. Several lines will have particular resonance: “There’s that look in your eyes. I can read in your face that your feelings are driving you wild.” That look in Credence’s eyes is the Obscurus lurking inside him.
In keeping with that theme, and with the Parisian setting, expect “Voulez-Vous” to happen between the Maledictus and Credence, when they go out on the town in Paris and bond. Credence will still be adjusting to his newfound freedom (and his recent matricide), at which point the Maledictus will assure him, “Now is all we get… Nothing promised, no regrets.” There will be a throughline about the Obscurus being reflected in his eyes: “Across the room, your eyes are glowing in the dark.”
Odds and Ends
As upsetting as it is to think about, Jacob’s bakery may be struggling in some foreshadowing of the Great Depression that’s historically just around the corner. Jacob will lament how he needs “Money, Money, Money.”
It’s hard to say where “Slipping Through My Fingers” will come in since that could be appropriate for so many different relationships. But maybe it’ll make us bawl as much as it did during Mamma Mia! If I had to guess, I believe it could happen between the Goldstein sisters – it would be a sweet moment that might help redeem Tina’s character.
Lastly, if the filmmakers want to fix their “explicitly gay” controversy, all they need is for present-day Dumbledore to sing “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! A Man After Midnight.” It’s wishful thinking, but it would be a lot of fun.
The only song that leaves is “Super Trouper,” and here I’m stumped. Readers, how can “Super Trouper” be worked into the plot of Crimes of Grindelwald?
Disney and Sony figured out a way to get Spider-Man into the MCU – how hard can this be? We know that Alison Sudol is a singer, and the rest of the cast can’t be worse singers than Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan, so there it is. Bonus points if Julie Walters has any scenes with herself at one point.
Thank you for the music, readers!