5 Potterverse Stories More Deserving of a Movie Than Fantastic Beasts
Because Newt Scamander is boring AF.
This weekend brings the second installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise with The Crimes of Grindelwald. While the movie is on track to make plenty of money, it has received middling reviews criticizing its convoluted storyline, problematic racial tropes and endless retconning of the Potterverse canon.
For me though, the biggest flaw in Fantastic Beasts has always been its central character, Newt Scamander. I’ve never understood why, out of all the subplots and storylines within the wizarding world, Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling chose a shy magizoologist to anchor a five film series. Scamander is a wholly unremarkable character who the films try desperately to shoehorn into greater significance with diminishing returns.
At the end of the day, I just can’t get invested in Newt’s adventures because he and his cohorts lack the agency and charisma of Harry Potter’s world. It’s especially confounding when you consider how many fascinating side characters and moments in wizarding history Rowling had to choose from. Here are five Potterverse spin-offs we think would be much more interesting than waching Newt chase after that damn niffler for the 50th time.
1. The Marauders
The Marauders have fascinated Potter fans ever since Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when the Weasley twins gave Harry the enchanted map to navigate the halls of Hogwarts. The quartet is made up of four of the most interesting characters in the series, as Masters Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs were revealed to be Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter. There’s plenty of Hogwarts-based adventure to be had with the foursome that would mirror the adventures of Harry and his friends, not to mention bringing in young Snape as an antagonist and following the love story of Lily and James. Seriously, what do we have to do to get a Marauders movie?
2. The Young Aurors
Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody (Brendan Gleeson) was one of the most notorious aurors of the wizarding world, defeating dark wizards and fighting with the Order of the Phoenix during the First and Second Wizarding Wars. Why not make an Untouchables-style film about Moody joining the aurors and recruiting an all-star team of wizards for the Ministry of Magic. Brendan Gleeson’s son Domhnall Gleeson could even play the younger version of the character, had he not already appeared in the franchise as Bill Weasley.
3. The Life and Loves of Minerva McGonagall
Hogwarts beloved Transfiguration professor is a fan favorite character with a tragic backstory of her own. Minerva was born to a muggle father, Robert McGonagall, and a witch, Isobel Ross, who gave up her magical powers when she married into the muggle world. After graduating from Hogwarts, Minerva falls in love with Dougal McGregor, a muggle who proposes to her. Minerva almost marries him, but realizes that she can’t deny the magical side of herself. Drama and doomed romance set in the Scottish highlands? All of the yes.
4. An Underdog Sports Movie Set in the World of Quidditch
Not every Wizarding World entry has to be about saving the world. There’s room for more lighthearted fare, like romantic comedies, coming of age tales, and even a sports movie. I’m a sucker for a Bad News Bears-style sports film about a ragtag group that comes together to become champions, so why not apply that template to the world of quidditch? You could keep it focused on an unlikely team rising through the ranks, or even tell a female-centered story about a woman playing quidditch against her parents’ wishes a la Bend It Like Beckham. I mean, at this point why not?
5. A Squib’s Life
The Squibs (wizards without magical abilities) are often relegated to the sadder, less exciting jobs of the Potterverse, like Mrs. Figg and Mr. Filch. But surely there are some squibs out there who rose above their lack of powers to make a difference in the wizarding world. It would be interesting to see a MacGyver-style squib character who uses his lack of magic to his advantage and defy expectations.
What untold stories of the Potterverse would you like to see hit the big screen? Share your thoughts in the comments!
(image: Warner Bros.)
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