Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them apparates over to our cinema screens next Friday and we already know that it is going to have four sequels. Normally if a film announces itself as a franchise before the first movie is even released I’m sceptical. A good franchise is hard to create but studios are constantly trying to force them because of the not-small financial incentive. Just look at the Transformers – they’re still making them. I don’t know who’s watching them but they’re really still making them… Yet when it comes to Fantastic Beasts I’m just excited about the idea of five more movies set within the wizarding world and I am not alone in that feeling. So why is the wizarding world different to the Twilights and Terminators?
The Harry Potter books and movies were a huge part of my generation’s formative years. This was a series that re-visited the same school kids every single year so that you essentially grew up with them and as a result, you can’t get away from the nostalgia. Also, the movies have somehow become inexplicably linked to Christmas. I personally blame ITV who air them every December but that just adds to the warmth that you feel about them. They’re friendly and familiar.
Obviously these films wouldn’t have had such a lasting effect if their source material wasn’t excellent and that is all down to J. K. Rowling. Sadly, authors often are not involved in the transition of their work from the page to the screen and many don’t even like the final product (I’m looking at you Percy Jackson). Rowling was always in the periphery with the Harry Potter films but she is the screenwriter in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Her presence is the biggest green flag for me about the upcoming series: as long as she’s around I feel as though the work is authentic and there genuinely is a real story there.
One of the biggest indictments of spin-offs is that they are unnecessary in the sense that there is no more story to be told. The thing about the wizarding world that Rowling created is that it truly is an entire world. It spans both space and time and with every new piece of information that is offered, more questions are raised.
The wizarding world is kept alive every time somebody picks up one of the books or watches the movies or goes on the studio tour or to the theme park in Orlando. You would be hard-pressed to find people in the Western world that hadn’t heard of The Boy Who Lived. There are plenty of casual fans but it’s the fandom that really keeps the stories alive.
As somebody who has been in multiple fandoms, I will be the first to say that they can be extremely poisonous: people become overly attached to stories and actors and they feel as though they have some sort of ownership or right over them. However, the Harry Potter fandom is generally a very positive community. They are strong and loyal and they are never going to let these stories or this world die.
From fanfiction to explorative essays, people have created their own work in and about the wizarding world. That’s the main reason that this phenomenon will never end: we’re just not ready to let it go.
Are you excited to see Fantastic Beasts? Do you think the wizarding world’s time is done? Let me know in the comments.