The Fantastic Beasts movie franchise is taking a longer break than expected from the big screen, with Fantastic Beasts 3‘s release date having been pushed back to summer 2022. The sequel has now recast primary villain Gellert Grindelwald, with Mads Mikkelsen is taking over the persona after Johnny Depp was asked to resign amid the ongoing contention of domestic defamation allegations by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. But the contentious nature of Depp’s involvement is far from the only problem that the Fantastic Beasts movies need to fix.

The series get off to a relatively strong start with the secrete of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016. Located on school textbooks from the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts is a prequel set in the 1920 s and performing Eddie Redmayne as the socially awkward exponent Newt Scamander, who gets on better with strange beasts than he does with parties. Of route, as Newt says, “there are no strange humen, simply blinkered people.” Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was well-reviewed and grossed $812 million at the box office – which, while on the lower end of the scale for Wizarding World movies, was still a very promising start.

Related: Why Fantastic Beasts 3 Removed Johnny Depp As Grindelwald

The 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald recognized a slump for the franchise , not only playing worse at the box office( where it became the lowest-grossing Wizarding World movie to date, with a worldwide give of $655 million) but likewise garnering far more negative critiques. The franchise has also been surrounded by other contentions, including a viral video of perform Ezra Miller apparently strangling a female fan and shedding her to the ground, and screenwriter J.K. Rowling’s ongoing vocal opposition to trans rights in the UK. But even put aside all of the bad press, Fantastic Beasts 3 needs to address some basic story questions that arose in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

The biggest problem with Fantastic Beasts is its identity crisis. Harry Potter fans were initially sold on the idea of Newt Scamander move the world countries to find exotic supernatural individuals, and really that is the element of the movies that has been most successful. Kids adored cute beasts like Nifflers and Bowtruckles, while larger swine like the Erumpet, Zouwu and Thunderbird supplemented grandness, spectacle and awe to the films – as well as organizing fascinating sequences in which Newt domesticate the beings beasts with mating dances or cat playthings. Since Newt is only referenced in passing in the original Harry Potter succession, the focus on him permitted Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to create its own world full of original reputations. The positive response to the first film was a testament to how successful this approach was.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald felt like a step backwards. Though Grindelwald was present in the first movie, he didn’t appear until the very end. In the sequel he is the main villain, moving Fantastic Beasts back into the familiar Harry Potter field of a plucky young superstar taking on an evil wizard with an infantry of adherents who has plans for pureblood domination over mugglekind. Even the plucky young protagonist is forced to take a back seat; Newt is still technically the booster, but he has very little agency. The most useful thing he does is sneak a Niffler into Grindelwald’s rally, which then steals a pin containing a magical blood pact between Grindelwald and Dumbledore.

With the introduction of Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald became less a legend about awesome beasts and more a narration about the upcoming wizarding war that, as Harry Potter supporters will know, ends with Dumbledore defeating Grindelwald. Presumably Newt will be involved somehow, but this no longer feels like his story – and instead of being the main attraction, the fanciful devils are now an element that feels shoehorned into the Grindelwald plot. Perhaps Warner Bros. needed confidence that supernatural men would continue to be enough of a choose for audiences, but the success of the How to Train Your Dragon movies has proven how obligating a legend about the relationships between humans and incredible beasts can be.

Related: Harry Potter/ Fantastic Beasts Timeline Explained

The problem of Fantastic Beasts’ name crisis slice both courses. Not merely does it alter the focus away from Newt Scamander and the marvelous devils of the franchise’s title, but the need to keep Newt and his magical people tangentially involved meaning that Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald didn’t have enough time to focus on the intertwine stories of Credence Barebone and Leta Lestrange. The prime commentary of this subplot among reviewers wasn’t undoubtedly that it was bad( the build-up to it, including a haunting situation in which a Boggart reveals itself to young Leta as a mysterious shrouded bundle drift in the air, has some very strong moments ), but that it wasn’t applied enough room in a movie that was already over-stuffed with other subplots.

Ultimately the reveal that Credence Barebone is Leta Lestrange’s half-brother, Corvus Lestrange – and the subsequent reveal that Corvus actually drowned as a newborn and Credence isn’t Corvus at all – is entrust to a dizzying few minutes of exposition towards the end of the movie. The gathering isn’t given enough time to get invested in the idea of Credence being Corvus, so while the flashback to the shipwreck where Corvus drowned is somewhat moving in isolation, it doesn’t have much impact as part of the larger story. Meanwhile, the ending twist that Credence is supposedly Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost younger brother, Aurelius Dumbledore, feels improbably random and croaks wholly unexplained. There’s no build-up to it( except for the adolescent detail of Credence caring for a baby bird that turns out to be a phoenix ), and no parts that the gathering could have put together by themselves.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is now in the unenviable position of having to deal with a reveal that didn’t have the effects on publics that it was supposed to, and was instead treated as yet another Harry Potter canon retcon by Rowling( who wrote the screenplays for the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, and co-wrote the third with Steve Kloves ). This won’t be easy to do, especially given the aforementioned problem of the Fantastic Beasts storyline simply is way too overcrowded. Nonetheless, it is possible if Fantastic Beasts 3 really focuses on only Newt and Credence and their persona arcs. The Crimes of Grindelwald not only split the focus between those storylines, but likewise a cherish quad between Newt, Theseus, Leta Lestrange and Tina Goldstein, more duets drama between Jacob and Queenie, and the backstory for Dumbledore and Grindelwald – all of which combined to create the tumultuous final product.

Related: Every Harry Potter Character Who Can Still Appear In Fantastic Beasts Movies

Mads Mikkelsen will be the third actor to play Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy( actually the fourth, counting Jamie Campbell Bower, who plays the younger Grindelwald in flashbacks ). For the majority of members of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the ill wizard was in disguise as Auror Percival Graves, played with placid vigour by Colin Farrell. From Graves/ Grindelwald’s final lecture in the first movie and Grindelwald’s rally speech at the end of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald we know that he has a general dislike for muggles, whom he considers to be an inferior species fit only to be a “beast of burden.” Grindelwald has given voice to a rage in the wizarding nature that voodoos and hotshots are forced to hide away from the non-magical population, and a sentiment that it is necessary to guideline the world instead.

Fantastic Beasts 3 has to explain Grindelwald’s brand-new form, though that shouldn’t be too difficult in a dealership that’s set in a supernatural world-wide. However, the recasting is also an opportunity to attain Grindelwald a more well-defined villain, as Mikkelsen will( hopefully) introduced his own spin on the character rather than simply trying to emulate Depp’s performance. The good word is that Grindelwald does have the potential to be a better villain than Voldemort was.

The large-scale bad of the previous dealership was mainly characterized through the wizarding world’s fear of him, and culminated up being marred by the more insidiously evil Dolores Umbridge, who is generally recollected as the franchise’s best criminal. Grindelwald shares Umbridge’s talent for information, applying allegations about “the greater good” and assurances that he doesn’t dislike muggles to prepare his proposes voice more agreeable. Fantastic Beasts 3 has an opportunity to lift the veil and prove Grindelwald in his more private moments – not only with more flashbacks to his younger days with Dumbledore, but too as he lays out his plans for world domination from this home base of Nurmengard Castle.

For all the controversy adjacent it, the poor reviews of the second installment, and the delays in filming caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Fantastic Beasts still does have the potential to emerge as a stronger story than the original Harry Potter tale. And with three movies left to go, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around, particularly with the movie’s release date having been pushed back. If Fantastic Beasts 3 can deliver a more streamlined story that successful marries Newt and his supernatural humen with the story of Grindelwald’s rise to power, all of the ingredients are in place for a genuinely impelling fantasy fiction set in one of the darkest eras of Wizarding World history.

More: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s Ending& Twists Explained

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