Over the past two weeks Warner Brothers has released trailers for the second film in the “Fantastic Beasts” movie series, “The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
Since the movie series was first announced back in 2013, it has faced heavy criticism. The series takes place 70 years before the Harry Potter books begin, and tells the story of a character fans had never met and had little reason to care about.
The criticism grew worse when Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, following a series of domestic abuse allegations that left fans protesting the movie due to his role. His casting was a controversial pick overall, especially because the character he plays is meant to be a young, charismatic boy who talked his way into power. Casting a 55-year-old in this role was questionable to begin with, and choosing Depp felt like the directors only cared about adding his name to the movie and not about who would most accurately play such a critical character.
Fans hoped he would be recast before the second movie, and now not only is the second movie entirely about Depp’s character, but the casting hasn’t been changed.
Unfortunately, Depp’s role isn’t the only problem fans have with the upcoming movie. Back in 2007, J.K. Rowling announced that Dumbledore’s character is gay. The original book series alludes to a love affair between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, which Rowling has confirmed on numerous occasions. The next chapter of the “Fantastic Beasts” series once again raised questions after director David Yates announced that Dumbledore would not be “explicitly gay” in the film.
Rowling has grown infamous on Twitter as of late for adding numerous details to the Harry Potter world, despite the fact that the last book came out 11 years ago. Many of these tweets feel like pandering or excuses for the series’ lack of diversity. Dumbledore’s sexuality has been a huge talking point through the years, and erasing it from the movie makes it seem like Rowling only added a gay character to gain fans.
After the release of “The Cursed Child,” a play that most fans reject as canon due to how badly it misunderstands the story of Harry Potter, people have begun to wonder what Rowling’s true intentions are. Is she really expanding her stories for the fans’ benefit like she says, or is she only in it for the money at this point?
The trailers do highlight some aspects of the movie fans are excited for, like meeting young Dumbledore and seeing Hogwarts again. But with all the controversies, it’s hard to be excited for a film that many feel shouldn’t exist in the first place.
“The Crimes of Grindelwald” comes out in November of this year, and until then, it will be hard to judge how the movie will handle the characters. Hopefully, Rowling can still be trusted to expand her own fictional universe.
Courtney Gavitt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.