I consider myself a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to Harry Potter. I had the whole series read by the third grade, religiously memorized to the point where I can still quote characters from even the least memorable of scenes. Try me.
So when I heard that a new book was going to be released, albeit a screenplay, I was excited. There was so much potential. Potential for things to wrong, sure, but also so much potential for J.K Rowling to remind die-hard fans why we fell in love with the series in the first place. Sadly, I was extremely disappointed. Critics insist the live play was nothing short of spectacular, but Harry Potter and the Cursed Child left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
The screenplay skewed my initial perception of the universe, with its repetitive story line and one-dimensional characters. Even old friends like Harry and Ron were virtually unrecognizable. It seemed more like badly written fan fiction than anything that J.K Rowling could have produced. Hardly worth the $17.98 off Amazon. And now, the franchise is expanding even more.
I have higher hopes for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, mostly because it stars Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne as the protagonist, Newt Scamander. Though, I have to say, five predetermined films (that will reportedly keep the universe alive for the next 19 years) has me a little skeptical that this is all just one big money-making stunt. But if the trailer and initial reviews are anything to go by, the movie will retain the onscreen magic and charm of its historic eight predecessors.
If you ask me, quit while you’re ahead. The universe has gained a colossal fan base over the years. The theme parks, the memorabilia, the every-other-weekend Freeform marathons. For good reason too; it’s timeless. But this over-extension is just that– we’re taking away what makes it special.
I’m still going to see the movie this Thanksgiving break (nothing could keep me away), and fingers-crossed that it will meet my expectations. I want so badly not to be disappointed again. Some people say that I’m crazy for being so emotionally invested in a fictional world, but as the wise Albus Dumbledore once said: “Of course it’s happening inside your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
Note: Go to https://thecspn.com to see fellow Chronicle writer, Alexandra Lisa’s story on Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them!