Three Reasons Why “Fantastic Beasts” 3’s Delayed Release Is a Blessing
When Warner Bros. recently announced that the release of Fantastic Beasts 3 had been delayed by one year, and would be released on November 12, 2021, my initial reaction was a lukewarm, “Oh well.” Let me be clear: I am still going to see this film (probably multiple times) regardless of how I feel about Fantastic Beasts. However, I am not as enthusiastic as I was about this series a year ago. As a Potter fan, the thought of seeing Dumbledore’s duel with Grindelwald, which was first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, portrayed on-screen filled me with excitement. Now, well, I don’t think I’ll lose any sleep if this franchise is canceled. Despite my less-than-positive remarks on Fantastic Beasts thus far, I would love for the remaining three films in this series to be a success. In fact, here are three reasons why I think the delayed release of Fantastic Beasts 3 is a blessing.
1. J.K. Rowling will have more time to work on the script.
Although J.K. Rowling knows how to craft an engaging book, she has not modified the skills that make her an adept novelist for screenwriting. This was apparent in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, a film that felt both dense and hollow. On the one hand, the film introduced several new characters and contained numerous subplots. On the other hand, due to the medium of delivery, film, there was not enough time for these subplots to be explored. It was like being served an appetizer but being left waiting for the main course. If Fantastic Beasts had first been released as books, many of the criticisms leveled against these films would have been negated, since there is more room for detail and introspection in books.
With filming on Fantastic Beasts 3 not set to begin until spring of 2020, J.K. Rowling will have more time to work on the script. Since there is a three-year gap between the releases of Crimes of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts 3, this is the longest wait between wizarding world stories, discounting the gap between Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, that I can think of since Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That’s not necessarily to the detriment of the Fantastic Beasts series, though. On the contrary, Order of the Phoenix has gone up in my estimations in recent years, and I think it’s one of the best books in the series, which suggests that if Rowling is allowed to take her time on the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts 3, she will be able to craft an engaging film worthy of the wizarding world.
2. Good stories can’t be rushed.
The executives at Warner Bros. will hopefully have learned from the way they mishandled the DC Extended Universe and rushed to release Justice League, which received mixed reviews and suffered from the lack of a clear artistic vision, due in part to the departure of Zack Snyder. Frankly, that franchise feels like a cash grab, like Fantastic Beasts. Warner Bros. saw the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, wanted to capitalize on it, and assumed that household characters such as Batman would mitigate their lack of direction.
Fantastic Beasts also suffers from a lack of a clear vision, and it’s clear that Warner Bros. was banking on the goodwill and nostalgia of Potter fans to carry these films. As this series diverges from Magizoology and shifts to being about the rise of Grindelwald, the “Fantastic Beasts” moniker will feel more awkward. Just look at the 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital cover for Crimes of Grindelwald. The font of “Fantastic Beasts” is so small in comparison to “Crimes of Grindelwald.”
Even though Crimes of Grindelwald had its fair share of fantastic beasts, the cynic in me felt like they were shoehorned into the film. And as much as I love Harry Potter, I don’t need to be reminded that Fantastic Beasts is set in the same universe as Potter. Enough with the sweeping shots of Hogwarts and pointless, pandering cameos by characters whose appearances make no canonical sense whatsoever. Can we just enjoy this series for what it is?
3. Don’t underestimate the appeal of the wizarding world.
Since Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has many detractors, it seems like there is not much excitement for this franchise going forward. Some may argue that by the time Fantastic Beasts 3 comes out, any remaining interest audiences have in this franchise will have dissipated. However, there is a reason that the phrase “the next Harry Potter“ appears a lot in reviews of YA series. The wizarding world has universal appeal. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that the opinions we read and see online may not be reflective of how most people feel about Fantastic Beasts.
If I looked only at certain sections of the Internet, especially Twitter, I would be convinced that Fantastic Beasts is dead due to there seeming to be one controversy after another. It’s clear that this isn’t the case, though. Whenever MuggleNet shares any opinion about Fantastic Beasts that doesn’t praise the series, we receive a lot of comments by fans who think we’re being too negative.
Besides, having to wait three years for Fantastic Beasts 3 isn’t necessarily bad. It just means that we’ll, hopefully, be able to appreciate it more when it arrives. Consider what’s happening with Star Wars. Disney was churning out those films yearly and people got burned out. Now they’re planning a hiatus after Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and reassessing the direction of that franchise. If I’m being optimistic, with time, the animosity toward Fantastic Beasts and J.K. Rowling will become less vitriolic and fans will remember why they were drawn to this universe in the first place.
Furthermore, fans across all age groups are discovering Harry Potter all the time. Three years isn’t particularly long. By the time Fantastic Beasts 3 comes out, there could be a new generation of fans seeing their first wizarding world film in theaters.