jude law as dumbledore

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore? Who Asked for This?

J.K. Rowling and World War II? What could possibly go wrong!?

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In a new mood of “oh I forgot these are still movies that are happening,” the title for the third Fantastic Beasts movie was released, and boy oh boy was it a cry for help—from the studio, I mean. Titled Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third movie in a franchise that already isn’t great on its own merits is clearly trying to get people interested despite many fans currently writing off the world of Harry Potter due to J.K. Rowling’s transphobic remarks.

All of that leads us into an era of Harry Potter where most of us really don’t want to support Rowling in any way, and that is clearly at the forefront of the minds of those in charge, and they’re grasping at straws with this series. So now they want to give us the secrets of Dumbledore? Okay.

According to Yahoo!, the official logline for the movie is as follows: “Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?”

The history of this series, with Dumbledore and his family, is complicated. Not only were we told after the fact that Dumbledore was gay, but we were then given the opportunity to see Dumbledore WITH the man he was supposedly in love with on film, and Rowling still did nothing to confirm that the character was canonically gay other than just saying it to score points after the fact. So a whole movie about his secrets doesn’t really appeal to me because I don’t have hope that it won’t be more of her nonsense.

Pair that with her transphobia and continuing disregard for marginalized communities in her work, and it just seems like this series, in general, is destined to be a mess with a dwindling fanbase. And uhhhhhh, can’t wait for the trainwreck that is going to be J.K. Rowling tackling World War II. (The Crimes of Grindelwald took place at the end of the 1920s, so … we’re getting into a tense time in our world history, and it isn’t exactly something I think Rowling should tackle at all.)

This is problematic for a number of reasons, including the past claims of Rowling’s anti-semitic descriptions of the goblins in the Harry Potter series. As the Alma piece I linked states, Rowling did compare the Death Eaters to Nazis and has tackled the ideals of fascism in her franchise, but that doesn’t mean that there are no anti-semitic aspects of her franchise.

Again, I ask: Who is this movie for? The generation who grew up with these movies are no longer really into this story based on what has been happening with Rowling, and even so, the last movie did a pretty bad job of continuing the canon of the series by disregarding a lot of what already existed in the original series. My own personal interest in Harry Potter is gone because of Rowling’s comments, and the only thing that I’m intrigued by with The Secrets of Dumbledore is the inclusion of Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald after the departure of Johnny Depp from the series.

Now that we, as a society, know about Rowling’s views and are aware of her tactics, this movie just seems like a bad idea overall—one that we don’t need and one that is just going to continue lining her pockets—and even though I want to see Mikkelsen and Jude Law in love with each other, I don’t think that The Secrets of Dumbledore is going to be the answer to anything.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.