5 Fantastic Four Stories We Want To See In The MCU (& 5 We Don’t)

With Disney acquiring a bunch of Fox’s assets in one of the biggest deals in the history of the film industry, we’ll be seeing, among other things, a lot of Marvel’s characters joining the MCU. Those characters include the X-Men, the Silver Surfer, and yes, the Fantastic Four. After two previous attempts to adapt the Fantastic Four comics for the big screen by Fox failed to please fans or critics, hopefully Marvel Studios will be able to do the characters justice.

RELATED: 5 X-Men Stories We Want To See In The MCU (And 5 We Don’t)

10 Don’t want to see: Days of Future Present

“Days of Future Present” was the sequel to the acclaimed X-Men storyline “Days of Future Past.” And while both storylines were well-received by both fans and critics, we only need to look at how much Bryan Singer’s adaptation of the “Days of Future Past” storyline messed up the X-Men movie franchise’s timeline and continuity to know that time travel plots really screw up a series of superhero films. A few years later, fans would be so put off by the incongruous timelines that the X-Men movies would be a shadow of their former selves and Fox would be selling the rights back to Marvel. Let’s not get off on the wrong foot.

9 Want to see: 1-2-3-4

This storyline by the great Grant Morrison began with Reed Richards vanishing and only escalated from there. It was just a miniseries, making the story the perfect length to be translated almost directly into a feature-length film. The problem with the oversaturated superhero movie market is that it’s getting harder and harder to keep the excitement up in the third act. We’ve seen the world get threatened by and saved from alien threats dozens of times. Fortunately, “1-2-3-4” ends with an earth-shattering climax that will satisfy even today’s moviegoing audiences, as the fabric of reality – not just New York City – is at stake.

8 Don’t want to see: Ultimate Fantastic Four

The Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline inspired the 2015 reboot starring Miles Teller and Kate Mara. That movie was even worse than the original Ioan Gruffudd/Jessica Alba ones, because like the Ultimate Fantastic Four storyline, the characters were much younger. They all looked like teenagers and it was tough to take them seriously as scientists or as superheroes.

RELATED: Fantastic Four Director Wants To Erase The 2015 Movie

The Fantastic Four need to be an older generation of heroes, especially if they make it into the MCU. There’s enough young blood out there. The Fantastic Four are the adults of Marvel Comics. Reed and Sue are at their best when they’re married and have kids.

7 Want to see: The Inhumans Saga

Before Galactus’ momentous debut in the Fantastic Four canon, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby toyed around with the idea of the Inhumans, the secret society of superpowered individuals living on the fringes of civilization. ABC tried to bring the Inhumans characters into the MCU with a TV series back in 2017, but it was slated by critics and audiences alike and the show was canned after just eight episodes. “The Inhumans Saga” from the Fantastic Four comics is a terrific storyline that would be a great second chance for the MCU’s depiction of the Inhumans in addition to a Fantastic Four reboot.

6 Don’t want to see: Marvel Knights 4

Written by playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Marvel Knights 4 isn’t really a superhero comic. It focuses less on the science fiction elements and more on the characters’ day-to-day lives. There are no high-stakes battles with villains or big action sequences. It’s more of a situational storyline than the kind of grandiose epic that make for the best superhero movies. At first, it’s interesting to see the characters in a different light, and Aguirre-Sacasa nailed the characterization of each member of the team, but the 30-issue series very quickly became one of the most boring runs in comic book history and not many people missed it when Marvel decided to cancel it.

5 Want to see: Spider-Man/The Human Torch #1-5

This would have to be after the Fantastic Four reboot introduces the characters into the MCU, and maybe even after that, when they’ve been fully ingratiated into the ensemble cast. But if the Fantastic Four are joining the MCU, then we need to see Spider-Man and the Human Torch team up. They’re the two most juvenile superheroes in New York and their team-ups are among the most fun storylines in Marvel canon.

RELATED: Spider-Man: Far From Home Trailer Backs Up Fantastic Four Theory

To see Tom Holland’s Spider-Man pair up with whoever Marvel casts as the third big-screen (well, technically fourth, but Roger Corman never released the FF movie he made on the cheap in the ‘90s just to retain the rights) version of the Human Torch would fulfill many a comic book fan’s dream.

4 Don’t want to see: The Council of Reeds

You know the Council of Ricks in Rick and Morty? It’s an absurd idea, right? A governing body run by a bunch of alternate versions of one guy that only governs that guy’s actions across the multiverse? Well, it wasn’t a wholly original idea. It was a parody of a similar idea from the Fantastic Four comics: the Council of Reeds. There was an entire storyline built around the organization in the comics, and while it might be an interesting gimmick to see a group of the same actor on the screen at the same time (it was admittedly a lot of fun when Daniel Radcliffe did it in the second-to-last Harry Potter movie), it would ultimately be too crazy to be taken seriously.

3 Want to see: Unthinkable

Doctor Doom is one of the greatest villains in Marvel Comics history – maybe the best – and he still has yet to be properly portrayed on the big screen. Julian McMahon and Toby Kebbell’s incarnations haven’t captured what makes him a terrific villain, and that is his diplomatic immunity. His political alliance with Latveria means that he can go to America, commit a crime right in front of a cop, and get away with it. It’s about time he was done justice in a movie, and what better way to that than by adapting “Unthinkable,” Mark Waid’s definitive Doctor Doom storyline, for the screen? The storyline sees Doom kidnap Reed Richards and Sue Storm’s kids, forcing the Fantastic Four to travel to Latveria to save them.

2 Don’t want to see: Fantastic Four #16

The Invisible Woman’s whole existence is pretty sexist. A cosmic storm gives three men awesome superpowers like flame manipulation and fists made of rock, and then gives the only woman in the group the ability to not block her husband’s view of the TV while she’s doing housework and not much else. This was back in the ‘60s and Sue Storm, despite being a brilliant scientist, was basically the team’s personal maid. In Fantastic Four #16, the team was trapped in the Microverse and the villain threatened to make Sue their maid. There wasn’t the slightest hint of irony and that was the whole conflict of the story. If this story made it to the screen, it would be a huge step backwards for female superheroes.

1 Want to see: The Galactus Trilogy

“The Galactus Trilogy” isn’t just considered to be the greatest Fantastic Four story; it’s been called “the indisputable pinnacle of the so-called Silver Age of comic books” by the Atlantic. That’s pretty high praise. The storyline sees the Fantastic Four struggling to battle Galactus, with the Silver Surfer and the Skrulls thrown in for good measure. Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer teased the arrival of Galactus, but that movie didn’t grasp the stakes and weight of his presence. Galactus is the devourer of planets! He is well and truly fearsome. Without question, he would give Thanos a run for his money as the MCU’s most powerful villain.

NEXT: 10 Characters From The X-Men Movies Who We Hope Get Their Own Movie

2019-04-23 05:04:26

Ben Sherlock

Harry Potter Ride Reveals Fantastic Creature the Movies Left Out

Universal Orlando Resort revealed a first look at another creature featured in the upcoming Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The new ride opens on June 13 at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and is described as a combination of coaster and story. The ride takes passengers deep into the Forbidden Forest and travels at more than 50 mph. The coaster will also send visitors backward at points and features twists and turns as well. Riders will also be able to choose between traveling in Hagrid’s motorbike or sidecar, just as Harry did in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Earlier this week, we got a first look at Fluffy, Hagrid’s beloved three-headed dog. He’s known for guarding the Sorcerer’s Stone in the first Harry Potter book, though readers and fans of the movie know that he doesn’t do a great job of it. In Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, he’ll be spotted in the Forbidden Forest as one of the many magical creatures riders will encounter. At over 8,000 pounds, he’ll likely be one of the more intimidating parts of the ride.

Related: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Movie Updates: Will It Happen?

According to Polygon, the ride will include a 8-foot-long Blast-Ended Skrewts, dangerous creatures featured in the Harry Potter novels, but not the films. Universal also showed off a Centaur, Cornish Pixies, and Devil’s Snare; all of which will be featured alongside Fluffy and the Skrewts. Check out the creatures below:

First shown in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Blast-Ended Skrewts are an illegal cross between a Fire Crab and a Manticore.  They can both sting and suck blood, making for a potent combination. Plus, as the name implies, they have a dangerous blasting end that shoots fire. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and their Care of Magical Creatures classmates are no fans of the Skrewts, though Hagrid maintains that they, like all magical creatures, are useful. The students spend most of their fourth year caring for the Skrewts, even as they grow increasingly larger and more deadly. In the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, a Skrewt is placed in the maze for the final Triwizard Tournament task. However, they aren’t seen at all in the movie.

The Skrewts are one of Hagrid’s favorites of his many magical creatures, so it’s exciting that fans will finally be able to see them brought to life. Since they didn’t appear in any of the movies, there wasn’t a clear idea of what they looked like, leaving fans to come up with their own interpretations. This Blast-Ended Skrewt certainly looks capable of the destruction described in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, especially with that pointed blasting end and hard, spell-proof shell. Despite the Skrewt’s intimidating presence, fans should still be excited to see this creature finally revealed.

More: Fantastic Beasts Theory: Albus Dumbledore Has An Obscurus As Well

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure opens June 13 at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Source: Polygon

2019-04-20 02:04:37

Rebecca VanAcker

Warner Bros. Reportedly Worried Johnny Depp Drama Will Hurt Fantastic Beasts 3

Recent reports suggest that Warner Bros. is worried that Johnny Depp’s ongoing drama with his ex-wife Amber Heard hurting Fantastic Beasts 3. A couple years ago, Depp came under fire after Heard accused the actor of being physically abusive to her during their time together. The decision to have Depp return for last year’s sequel to Fantastic Beasts was met with controversy, but director David Yates spoke out in defense of the casting. Production on the third entry was to begin this summer, but was delayed till later this fall.

The Harry Potter spinoff series launched in 2016 and was originally planned to be a trilogy, but was extended to a five-film series after J.K. Rowling determined more movies would benefit the story. Depp stars in the series as the powerful dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. Depp has confirmed that he’ll return for Fantastic Beasts 3, but the controversy surrounding him could affect the film moving forward. Earlier this year, Depp filed a lawsuit against Heard over the abuse allegations, and he’s denied all of Heard’s claims. Despite that, high-level executives at Warner Bros. are reportedly concerned that Depp’s involvement with Fantastic Beasts could send the wrong message.

Related: J.K. Rowling Promises Fantastic Beasts 3 Will Answer Questions

Per Page Six, Warner Bros. is reportedly worried that Depp’s drama could effect Fantastic Beasts 3. The report continues by mentioning that if Warner Bros. continues to stick by Depp, it could say a lot about the company’s values. Many high-level female executives are worried about working with Depp, and how it’ll effect the morale of female employees at the studio. This comes just after Heard’s recent court documents described in vivid detail how Depp allegedly beat, choked and tormented her. Adding to that, many at Warner Bros. feel Rowling’s public support of Depp has boxed them into a corner, as they continue to wonder how to deal with Depp’s role in the Fantastic Beasts series.

With Warner Bros. fresh off Kevin Tsujihara stepping down as chairman and CEO after his involvement in a sexual misconduct scandal went public, Depp’s continued association with the studio could lead to further backlash on not only Depp but the studio as well. According to actor Dan Fogler, the decision to change production around for Fantastic Beasts 3 was due to the film being larger in scale compared to the previous entries. More time was needed to prep and to avoid rushing the project, but there could be more to it than that. With Depp’s involvement casting a dark cloud on the movie, perhaps this time prior to production will be used to decide whether or not to replace the veteran actor. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had enough controversy surrounding it due to its poor reception and overstuffed storyline, but Depp’s casting as Grindelwald also didn’t sit well with many moviegoers.

How Warner Bros. chooses to handle the situation remains to be seen, but Fantastic Beasts 3 isn’t expected to release till sometime next year. That gives the studio enough time to sort out any issues they may have with Depp, and replace him if necessary. Of course, losing Depp would still be a huge loss if the studio doesn’t have a suitable replacement to fill his role as Grindelwald. With Fantastic Beasts 3 set to begin production later this year, fans should expect more updates as the fall nears.

More: Fantastic Beasts 3 Theory: How Dumbledore Breaks The Blood Pact

Source: Page Six

2019-04-13 01:04:26

Eric Trigg

Deadpool Welcomes The Fantastic Four BACK To Marvel

Deadpool may be the biggest blockbuster hit to come out of the X-Men movie universe, but now that he’s been returned to Marvel Studios he’s showing some love to one of Fox’s biggest failures: the Fantastic Four.

Hot off the heels of fighting Marvel’s version of Batman in his standalone comic, Deadpool is now taking it upon himself to welcome The Fantastic Four back into the fray of everything Marvel. It’s been a rough few years for the team, too. In the comics, the Fantastic Four have been MIA since 2015’s Secret Wars, after seemingly sacrificing themselves in a battle with Dr. Doom to restore Earth. Thankfully the Fantastic Four have returned, revealing they were actually just busy recreating the Marvel Multiverse. But the movies… are a different story.

RELATED: What The Fox/Disney Deal Means For Marvel’s Future

Explaining their absence may be complicated by comic standards, but Fox’s movie reboot killed the franchise completely. The Fantastic Four movie rights had left Marvel back in the 1980s, up until the announcement that Disney was buying back Fox’s Marvel properties. With the acquisition officially taking place on March 20, 2019, it’s time for Deadpool to officially welcome the Fantastic Four home in the latest issue of Spider-Man/Deadpool #49.

In the latest run of Spider-Man/Deadpool, Wade Wilson has lost his ability to break the fourth wall; but that doesn’t keep him from cracking some meta-humor. Thanks to Marvel’s preview of Issue #49, fans can see him erase the line between the worlds of Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios.

In the latest issue of the team-up series, Spider-Man and Deadpool were imprisoned in a mysterious dimension with a group of heroes, similarly captured by a villain named The Manipulator. After Deadpool escaped with the help of Gwenpool hiding out in “gutter space” (don’t ask), she sent him back dressed to the nines (and armed to the teeth) to help free the heroes he left behind. The Fantastic Four jump into the fight against the Manipulator after being freed, thanking him in the process.

Deadpool can’t pass up the chance to return to his ‘meta’ ways, stating how they are “finally on the same team. All together under the same banner.” The joke is a clear reference to not only the Fantastic Four being reunited after the events of Secret Wars, but Disney recently closing the deal on acquiring Fox’s assets. A joke so meta that Deadpool then references it himself, frustrated at his current inability to break the fourth wall and see if the reader appreciated one of his better fiction-breaking jokes in recent months.

Don’t worry Deadpool. Whether you know it or not, fans are guaranteed to get the reference–and they’re just as excited that a Deadpool/Avengers/Fantastic Four team-up in the MCU is finally a possibility. And with Disney’s apparent willingness to keep making Deadpool movies, we can only hope to see this interaction in live action in the near future.

Spider-Man/Deadpool #49 will be available from your local comic book store on April 10th, or direct from Marvel Comics.

Next: Will Disney Keep Deadpool Out Of The MCU?

2019-04-08 03:04:50

Kirk Smith

11 Facts About Fantastic Beasts’ Credence Barebone

Credence Bareborn is one of the most mysterious characters in the Harry Potter universe. His past is shrouded in tragedy and drama. He’s also tied to one of the most powerful families in the Wizarding World, even possibly being related to one of the darkest wizards in history. Because of his sordid past and illustrious family connections, he holds the imaginations of fans everywhere. His story has it all: tragedy, triumph, and even hope. If you’re dying to know more about this fascinating character from the Fantastic Beasts franchies, check out this list of facts about the mysterious Bareborne. You may just learn something tantalizing.

RELATED: J.K. Rowling Originally Hinted At Fantastic Beasts 2’s Credence Twist In 2016

11. Adoption

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Credence Barebone

The circumstances of our birth, in part, define us. Children who have been adopted often feel that it’s part of their identity. Credence’s life, on one hand, began in tragedy. He was switched at birth by Leta Lestrange, who passed him off as her brother Corvus. Shortly after, baby Credence found himself fleeing certain death in a lifeboat while on his way to America with family.  Sadly, none of the relatives with him survived the fateful trip. He was later sent on to America with no one knowing his true identity but Leta. Shortly after, Credence was placed for adoption and his new life began.

10. Credence

Fantastic Beasts The Crimes of Grindelwald Credence Barebone Grindelwald

Mary Lou Barebone certainly didn’t believe in giving children playful or mainstream names. She favors extremely old-fashioned virtue names; she named her daughters Chastity and Modesty. Those don’t sound like your typical sunny little girl names. When she adopted her son the pattern persisted. She chose Credence. The name means “trust” or “faith.” This makes his character’s background even more tragic. It’s in his nature and name to trust. Ironic because of his name, poor Credence is met with betrayal at every turn. His adoptive mother should have been a source of love and support, and he should have had a network of friends he could rely on.

NEXT: J.K. Rowling Promises Fantastic Beasts 3 Will Answer Questions

9. Obscurial

In the Harry Potter universe, there are serious consequences to repressing the magical abilities of a child. If a child suffers physical or psychological abuse to keep their magic at bay, they can develop a dark parasitic force. The dark force is an Obscurus. Those who live with the weight of this parasite are known as Obscuials. Most unfortunate souls who succumb to this fate don’t survive to be 10 years old. Credence fell prey to this awful fate as a young man and his survival is nothing short of miraculous. Once a person becomes an Obscurial, a mysterious magical force will manifest around them during times of extreme emotion.

8. Abuse Survivor

Samantha Mortin as Mary-Lou Barebone in Fantastic Beasts

Mary Lou Barebone was a hardline No-Maj character. Because of her disdain for magic users, she held Credence in contempt. Truth be told, it was probably due to her opinion of magic users that she abused all of her adopted children. The abuse was not only physical but emotional as well. It was due to this abuse that Credence became the withdrawn and mysterious character we meet. He carries the scars of trauma and physical beatings, with the abuse being so severe that it left him vulnerable and developing an Obscurus. The strength he developed by surviving that kind of trauma made him an indomitable force.

MORE: What Fantastic Beasts 3 Needs To Do To Save The Harry Potter Prequel Series

7. Tragic Family Deaths

Credence Barebone had two sisters in his adoptive family. They all suffered the abuse of their stepmother together. For that reason, their bond was unique and strong. That abuse is also what led to Credence developing his Obscurus. Extreme emotions unleash the primal force of the Obscurus.

Mary Lou’s hatred of magic and magic users drove her to fits of rage. Any sign that her children were even interested in what she thought of as a wicked practice could set her off. Magic was such a discovery that set off a horrible incident resulting in death. Mary Lou found a toy wand and she immediately assumed it must have belonged to Credence. It, in fact, belonged to his younger sister Modesty. The resulting confrontation soon unleashed his Obscurus, and both Mary Lou and Chasity were killed.

6. Related To Voldemort

Via: News Week

Fans have put together some serious clues. They all point to the same thing, Credence is a blood relative of “He Who Shall Not Be Named.” The identity of Credence’s birth mother is a bit of a mystery, as well. We know based on Mary Lou’s disdain that she was a witch. It’s later implied that Credence is a pure-blood wizard, with all pure-blood families being related.

Credence’s magic parallels that of Voldemort. He’s powerful but barely in control just like the Dark Wizard himself. The pair also has yet another fact in common: both wizards appear to have escaped certain death.

RELATED: Fantastic Beasts: How Credence’s Mother Can Be Related To Voldemort

5. Betrayed By Grindelwald

Gellert Grindelwald isn’t above using someone to get what he wants. Gellert received a vision in which he saw a powerful Obscurous. He assumed the Obscurous must belong to a child as so few survive any longer. After meeting up with young Credence, Grindlewald manipulates him to help in his investigation. After the tragedy at the Barebone home, Grindelwald is convinced that he’s found what he’s looking for. He believes the person who destroyed the Barebone home and killed both Mary Lou and Chastity is Modesty Barebone. Once Gellert decides Modesty is his target, he dismisses Credence, even calling him a squib. This enrages Credence and reveals his Obscurous to a terrified Gellert.

4. Birth Name

Fantastic Beasts Ezra Miller Credence Barebone

Credence Barebone lost so much through his adoption. He lost the loving birth family he belonged with, he lost a powerful brother, and finally, he lost his sense of identity. As a result of being switched at birth, he also lost true his name. It wasn’t until he met up with Gellert Grindelwald that he got his first clue as to his true identity. Gellert revealed to him his birth name, Aurelius Dumbledore. The name his adoptive mother gave him, Credence, means trust. His birth name has a bit richer history to it, however. Aurelius means “The golden one.” Could his birth name foreshadow things to come for the mysterious wizard?

NEXT: All The Fantastic Beasts 3 Plot Clues In The Crimes of Grindelwald 

3. Brother To Albus

Via: Pottermore

The Dumbledore family name carries a lot of clout. There isn’t anyone in the Wizarding World who wouldn’t be impressed by that pedigree. When Credence Barebone found out his true name, he must have had a lot of mixed emotions. First of all, he must have wondered how different his life would have turned out with his birth family. Furthermore, he must have longed for a relationship with his brother. In his adoptive family, he only knew relationships with his sisters and his rage at his adoptive mother must have swelled. Surviving abuse is hard enough, but when Credence found out about his true identity, a whirlwind of emotion hit him. It’s gutwrenching to know that you could have been from one of the most powerful wizarding families.

2. Evil Adoptive Mother

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Mary-Lou Barebone

This is a classic trope that has added depth to characters since stepmothers have existed. Mary Lou Barebone is as evil a stepmother as they come. She’s a staunch No-Maj, looking down on magic users as wicked and unnatural. When she adopted her children she had every intention of suppressing their abilities and raising them to her standards of normality. Her bigotry against magic users would eventually lead to her tragic end. Mary Lou met her end drenched in poetic justice. Fate set the injustice of her abuses right. At least that’s one evil stepmother we stopped in her tracks.

1. Circus Arcanus

Running away to join the circus — it’s the fate of many orphans. In the Harry Potter universe, the circus is even more magical, but also much darker. The Circus Arcanus is a traveling wizarding circus and freak show. The horrible Skender owns and operates the circus. Like many outcasts, Credence runs away to join the circus and it was there that he met his closest and only friend, Nagini. Nagini has a past as tragic as Credence. As a result, they bond almost immediately. Together, Nagini and Credence finally escape the exploitive Skender and the Circus Arcanus. His time with the circus surrounded by other outcasts was healing for Credence.

RELATED: Fantastic Beasts Theory: How Grindelwald Lied About Credence’s Identity

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2019-01-04 04:01:01

Fantastic Beasts 2’s Important Deleted Scenes Revealed By Trailer

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald introduces a number of important new characters, jumps from New York to Scotland to London to Paris, and sets up plot threads for the upcoming sequel – so it’s little wonder that the movie has a few deleted scenes. Reviews have criticized the sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for being overstuffed, but the movie’s trailers offer a glimpse at what ended up on the cutting room floor.

Directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald picks up a year after the events of the previous movie, with Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) stuck in the UK as the result of a travel ban. However, at the behest of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), Newt heads off to Paris with his friend Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) in tow, to track down the missing Obscurial Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller) before the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) can get to him.

Related: Fantastic Beasts: Explaining The Harry Potter Canon Plot Holes

The Crimes of Grindelwald dives deep into a tangle of family trees as Credence searches for his true identity and Newt’s old flame Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz) tries to run from her own past. But if it feels like Leta and Credence’s subplots were lacking something – well, that’s because not at all of their scenes made it into the final cut of the movie. We’ve parsed Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’s most important deleted scenes from early trailers for the movie.

  • This Page: Credence Barebone’s Deleted Scenes
  • Page 2: Leta Lestrange’s Deleted Scenes

Credence Joins the Circus

When we first catch up with Credence in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, he’s already working at a magical circus and has developed a close relationship with Nagini, a Maledictus who is doomed to eventually transform permanently into a snake. In fact, the first time we see Credence and Nagini, they are already planning their escape from the circus. However, a brief clip from the Comic-Con trailer (at around the one-minute mark) shows Credence surveying posters for the circus and still sporting his (rather terrible) haircut from the first movie. Presumably the movie originally included more scenes showing Credence after his initial flight from New York, including perhaps his first meeting with Nagini.

Credence Separates From His Obscurus

Nagini’s character arc feels a little under-served in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, as she doesn’t have much to do besides clinging to Credence and helping him in his search for his mother. A clip from the very first teaser trailer for the movie shows another piece of Credence and Nagini’s story that didn’t make it into the movie: a scene where the two of them are sitting on a rooftop and Credence voluntarily separates from his Obscurus, which then returns to him. It’s unclear what is going on in this scene – whether Credence is trying to forcibly separate himself from his “dark twin,” or whether he’s simply showing Nagini his own curse, since he’s seen hers. Regardless, it’s a very interesting clip because it’s the first time we’ve seen Credence exercise control over his Obscurus, instead of it simply exploding out of him in moments of stress.

It’s possible that this scene was excised from the movie so that the first time Credence is shown to have control over his Obscurus is at the very end, after Grindelwald has revealed that his real name is Aurelius Dumbledore. Upon learning his true heritage, Credence is able to use a wand to direct the power of the Obscurus – blowing a hole in the side of Nurmengard Castle, and destroying the side of a distant mountain.

Page 2: Leta Lestrange’s Deleted Scenes

Leta Lestrange Attends A Ball

One of the most intriguing deleted scenes that was glimpsed in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald‘s teaser trailer sees Leta Lestrange attending some kind of high-class wizarding ball. Leta, dressed in elegant clothes, watches in fascination as a dancer performs an elaborate, twirling dance, surrounded by wizards and witches in black-tie clothing. While it’s unclear how exactly this would have fitted into The Crimes of Grindelwald‘s story (which moves along at a breakneck pace, with little time for parties), it seems likely that this is some kind of Ministry of Magic social event. Leta is engaged to Newt’s brother, Theseus (Callum Turner), and both of them work for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. It’s also possible, given that Leta comes from a noble line of French pureblood wizards, that this is some kind of event specifically for purebloods – but that’s less likely, since Leta is estranged from her father and spends much of the movie trying to distance herself from her heritage.

The Lestrange Family Tree

There are actually two versions of the Lestrange family tree that appear in The Crimes of Grindelwald. The first was pieced together by Leta’s half-brother, Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), who believes that Credence Barebone is Leta’s other half-brother, Corvus Lestrange V. As part of an Unbreakable Vow made to his dying father, Yusuf has been charged with killing the person that Corvus Lestrange IV (Leta’s father) loves most in the world – his son. When Yusuf tricks Newt and Jacob into entering a hidden room in the sewers of Paris and traps them in there, this makeshift family tree can be seen on the walls, but we’re never given a really good look at it. A clip from the teaser trailer shows Yusuf standing alone in front of the family tree, examining it, indicating that there may be some close-up shots of the family tree on the cutting room floor.

Related: Fantastic Beasts 2: The Lestrange Family Tree Explained

If we had to guess why this scene was cut (aside from time constraints), it was probably because Yates didn’t want to show this family tree in too much detail. Towards the end of the movie, Leta unveils her father’s own family tree and goes over the Lestrange lineage in detail – right up to the untimely death of baby Corvus V. Showing Yusuf’s family tree may have spoiled the fact that he and Leta are half-siblings.

Dumbledore and the Deluminator

A final deleted scene shown in the trailers doesn’t involve Credence or Leta at all, but instead shows Albus Dumbledore in foggy London, using his Deluminator to turn off the nearby street lamps. A version of this did end up in the movie, with Dumbledore taking Newt on a whirlwind tour of London as they try to stay two steps ahead of Newt’s ministry tail. However, this particular location was not included in the sequence. Perhaps Dumbledore and Newt’s conversation originally had a little more exposition, and therefore required them to Apparate a couple more times.

More: Fantastic Beasts 3: Release Date, Story Details & Every Update

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2018-12-08 05:12:07

Dumplin’ Review: Netflix & Dolly Parton Deliver Fantastic YA Drama

Netflix’s Dumplin’ has an emotionally impactful message of self-acceptance, wrapped in a charming coming-of-age story & steeped in Dolly Parton music.

Netflix has found a great deal of success this year by releasing young adult book adaptations and producing teen-focused originals that appeal to viewers of all ages. The streaming service released both The Kissing Booth and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in 2018, with the latter becoming a massive hit for Netflix especially. It seems Netflix is now leaning into its newfound reputation for YA adaptations and teen dramas/romantic comedies, as the streaming service has yet another releasing before the end of 2018. The latest YA teen drama/rom-com to be released by Netflix is Dumplin’, adapted from Julie Murphy’s same-named novel that was initially published in 2015. Netflix’s Dumplin’ has an emotionally impactful message of self-acceptance, wrapped in a charming coming-of-age story & steeped in Dolly Parton music.

Dumplin’ introduces teenager Willowdean Dickson (Danielle Macdonald), the daughter of local beauty queen Rosie Dickson (Jennifer Aniston), who grows increasingly frustrated as her mother focuses more on their small Texas town’s Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant. Willowdean is seemingly self assured as a plus-size teenager thanks to her Aunt Lucy (Hilliary Begley), who also imparted a love of Dolly Parton’s music – and introduced a young Will to her best friend Ellen Dryver (Odeya Rush). However, with the recent passing of Lucy, Willowdean must face her mother’s pageant season without her aunt. But when Willowdean discovers an incomplete entry form for the Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant among Lucy’s belongings, the teenager decides to do what her aunt never did: enter the pageant.

When Willowdean and Ellen go to sign up, though, other atypical beauty pageant contestants decide to follow her lead, including Millie Michalchuk (Maddie Baillio), a pleasant if seemingly naive fellow plus-size girl, and Hannah Perez (Bex Taylor-Klaus), a standoffish radical feminist. With pressure on the girls to lead a revolution against the Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant and increasing flirtations with her coworker Bo (Luke Benward), Willowdean begins to realize she’s not as comfortable in her own skin as she originally believed. With the help of some of Lucy’s friends, including Lee (Harold Perrineau), who share her love of Dolly Parton, Willowdean will have to discover who she is and be comfortable in her own skin if she plans on leading a revolution against society’s beauty standards – and she’ll have to decide whether to quit or embrace the Miss Teen Bluebonnet Pageant after all.

The story of Dumplin’ is brought to life on the screen by director Anne Fletcher and screenwriter Kristin Hahn. Though Hahn doesn’t have much previous experience in terms of screenwriting – she worked on the 1997 documentary Anthem and is set to write Disney’s Stargirl adaptation – she skillfully adapts Murphy’s novel into a compelling script that works for the screen. The movie labors a bit under the task of juggling all the various storylines playing out in different aspects of Will’s life. It’s no doubt a symptom of condensing down all the storylines of the book into a cohesive movie. But thanks to Hahn’s script, Dumplin’ always refocuses on the overarching story threads that are most important: the relationships between Will and her mom, and Will and herself. Further, the directing by Fletcher – who has experience in helming female-focused movies with 27 Dresses and Step Up – works to center Willowdean and Rosie in a way that feels true to life. This is a coming-of-age story with elements of romance, and the writing and directing help to portray Willowdean and her experiences in a way that’s incredibly relatable.

To be sure, the strength of Dumplin’ is very much in its true-to-life depiction of a plus-size teenage girl and how her self-image is both reflected in the way she views the world and her presumptions of how others see her. Willowdean is at the center of a complicated web crafted by society’s expectations for how young women should look – expectations constantly upheld by her mother Rosie, who spends much of her own life focused on staying thin – and the empowerment and self-love her Aunt Lucy tried to instill in her from a young age. Willowdean struggles to not be defined by her weight in a world where she feels constantly defined by her weight, and the insecurities that arise from that struggle inform much of her story and the actions she takes. As a result, Dumplin’ is one of the best coming-of-age films (if not the best) about a plus-size girl… though, frankly, very few such stories actually exist in Hollywood.

Dumplin’ wouldn’t be possible without the performances of Macdonald and Aniston, who excellently portray a multifaceted, complicated mother-daughter relationship. It’s clear that their family dynamic was shaken up by the death of Lucy (Will’s aunt and Rosie’s sister), and their house is fraught with tension, which is exacerbated by the pageant season. But, the relationship between Willowdean and Rosie is one of the movie’s most compelling – second only to Will’s relationship with herself. The pair lead the film well, with Macdonald undoubtedly holding her own next to Aniston. As a result, though, many of the other characters in Dumplin’ fall by the wayside, with Benward’s Bo, Rush’s Ellen and Taylor-Klaus’ Hannah getting largely one-note arcs. There is more depth to Millie, but Baillio curiously plays the character like a slightly toned-down Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray, which is charming, but at times jarring in what’s meant to be a modern movie. Altogether though, the supporting cast works well to fill out the world of Willowdean, which serves the main story even if it’s not the most complex world.

To give Dumplin’ another layer of depth, the movie embraces Willowdean’s love of Dolly Parton. Her music is key to Willowdean’s character and as much a part of her journey as her friends and family. It helps, no doubt, that Parton provided the music for Dumplin’, re-recording some of her classic songs or writing new tracks for the film’s soundtrack. (Though, some of the new versions may not satisfy die hard fans of the music icon.) This music helps to ground Dumplin’ in the film’s Texas setting, and adds even more character to the movie. Though Dumplin’ may not be a musical or even a movie technically about music, it uses Parton’s songs to develop Willowdean’s character and further her story in an incredibly fun way.

Ultimately, Dumplin’ offers a charming and emotionally moving coming-of-age story, elevated by the performances of its two leads and given a great deal of personality thanks to the writing and directing behind the scenes. Dumplin’ is a great, entertaining watch for anyone already interested in the story, and it’s a fantastic adaption of Murphy’s novel, staying true to the source material but translating it (mostly) effectively to film. Further, those who’ve watched Netflix’s other YA-type content will no doubt find Dumplin’ to be compelling. While it may not quite reach the heights of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Dumplin’ is far and above a better teen-focused movie – with a much better message – than The Kissing Booth or Sierra Burgess is a Loser. To be sure, Dumplin’ is a fun and grounded coming-of-age story with as much flare for the dramatic as Dolly Parton herself.


Dumplin’ is now available to stream on Netflix. It is 110 minutes and is rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!

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2018-12-07 05:12:49

Fantastic Beasts 2 Is Harry Potter’s First Box Office Misfire

NOTE: All box office figures are as of December 3, 2018

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ultimately turned a profit at the box office, but it’s essentially the first real misstep in the lucrative Wizarding World franchise. Warner Bros. stumbled across a goldmine when they acquired the film rights to J.K. Rowling’s ultra-popular Harry Potter novels and brought the magical universe to the big screen. It proved to be a very wise investment, as the eight movies collectively earned $7.7 billion at the worldwide box office (an average of $965.4 million a pop) and were all well-received by critics. Sadly (for fans and studio executives), Harry’s story came to an end with 2011’s The Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

However, the property made its return five years later with the first Fantastic Beasts installment. A spinoff/prequel centering on the adventures of Newt Scamander, the film proved to be another hit for the studio. Though reviews weren’t as positively glowing as the mainline Potter movies, it still generated solid word-of-mouth and brought in $814 million worldwide. This all but ensured Rowling’s plan to craft a five-part narrative would unfold, and The Crimes of Grindelwald hit theaters last month. Unfortunately, the results were far from what WB was hoping for.

Crimes of Grindelwald Couldn’t Overcome Negative Buzz

Prospects for The Crimes of Grindelwald didn’t look great from the outset. In addition to the lukewarm reception of its predecessor, the sequel was plagued by controversy in the months leading up to its release. Complaints against the casting of Johnny Depp (and all the personal baggage that comes with him) as the main villain have been well-documented, and die-hard Harry Potter fans took issue with several notable changes to the lore revealed in marketing. Notable examples include Nagini’s troubling backstory, the Elder Wand, and Professor McGonagall’s inclusion in the Hogwarts scenes. There were still circles of the fan base excited to see Crimes of Grindelwald, but the odds were stacked against it.

Related: Read Screen Rant’s The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

Movies have been able to overcome negative buzz before, but the second Fantastic Beasts was not one of them. When the professional reviews started to roll in, Crimes of Grindelwald became the franchise’s first installment to be Rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. To illustrate just how much of a step down in quality it is, its nine predecessors are all Certified Fresh. Again, some audience members found enjoyment in another journey to the Wizarding World, but the general consensus is that Crimes of Grindelwald was a muddled, confusing mess of a film preoccupied more with setting up its upcoming sequels than telling a captivating story that stands on its own merits. Some people feel Rowling is following the path to becoming the next George Lucas, while others place the blame on director David Yates’ approach. Regardless of whose fault it primarily is, the Fantastic Beasts films clearly aren’t resonating as much as Harry Potter.

This can be reflected in The Crimes of Grindelwald’s box office performance. Though it easily won its opening weekend, its haul wasn’t anything to write home about. Earning just $62.1 million domestically in its first three days, The Crimes of Grindelwald scored the lowest debut in the series by more than $12 million. That figure is far below other 2018 tentpoles, such as Venom (which broke October records with $80.2 million despite bad reviews) and even infamous flop Solo: A Star Wars Story ($84.4 million). Interest in Grindelwald was very low, and it was never able to rebound. Its legs proved to be weak; as of this writing, it’s made $135.3 million Stateside. It hasn’t been able to keep pace with the original Fantastic Beasts, which earned $184.3 million at the same point in its run (18 days) and ended with $234 million domestically. With the big December releases like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mary Poppins Returns on the horizon, that’s a total Crimes of Grindelwald won’t match or surpass.

Of course, the domestic box office only tells half the story. In recent years, international markets have become of very high importance, and often can help push a middling movie across the profitability line. With The Crimes of Grindelwald failing to leave much of an impression in the United States, it needed a strong showing overseas in order to become the hit the studio desired. On that front, it was mostly successful, yet the numbers still leave something to be desired – especially when compared to the other entries in the franchise.

Page 2: Crimes of Grindelwald Is The Lowest-Grossing Harry Potter Film

Crimes of Grindelwald’s Worldwide Box Office Is Poor

Budgeted for $200 million, The Crimes of Grindelwald has made its money back and turned a profit for WB. Going by the general rule of thumb, it had to gross $400 million globally to break even, and its current total stands at $522.2 million. Obviously, the film didn’t bomb, but these figures are hardly great. Based solely on the box office receipts, Crimes of Grindelwald is just $122.2 million in the black, which (unadjusted for inflation), wouldn’t be enough money to produce another Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (production budget: $125 million). Of course, Grindelwald will pad its cumulative gross before it bows out of theaters, but it’s already earned a majority of its money.

The film opened in several markets during the same week in mid-November, with a Japanese premiere happening on November 23. There are no other territories awaiting its arrival, so in all likelihood, the final tally won’t be much higher than what it’s already made. Perhaps it makes in excess of $600 million worldwide when it’s all said and done, but it’s going to have to be content remaining in the basement on the all-time franchise charts. There’s a considerable gap of nearly $275 million between Crimes of Grindelwald and the ninth-place film, The Prisoner of Azkaban ($796.7 million). Grindelwald will not finish anywhere near the original Fantastic Beasts’ worldwide haul of $814 million, which has to be somewhat concerning for the higher-ups.

Related: All The Fantastic Beasts 3 Clues In The Crimes of Grindelwald

A saving grace for WB, as mentioned earlier, is that The Crimes of Grindelwald is not an out-and-out disaster. It’s currently the fifteenth-highest grossing movie of the year worldwide and will surely move a few spots up that list over the next couple of weeks. But considering the property’s pedigree and the sequel’s integration of classic Potter elements like returning legacy characters and Hogwarts, it’d be understandable if people expected a little more. After all, this is a franchise that averaged $948.6 million per installment before Crimes of Grindelwald sunk that mean with its underwhelming total. The original Fantastic Beasts made a little bit more than Azkaban, so it’s a little troubling Grindelwald won’t follow suit in that regard. Most films would kill for $522 million worldwide, but this is an era where major tentpoles earn that without trying.

This isn’t a catastrophic franchise-altering turn of events a la Solo or Justice League, but the dip in revenue should be enough to give WB some pause as they plot the course for Fantastic Beasts 3. It’s one thing for a sequel to make less than its predecessor (particularly one that revived a long-dormant series), but the cumulative numbers need to be in the same ballpark in order to instill confidence that the plan is working. There’s definitely something off with the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and the onus is on the filmmakers to figure out what that is. Looking ahead, they need to identify the core problems and find the proper resolutions. For all their faults, the Beasts films have their bright spots, and a little bit of retooling should be all it takes to get it back on track.

Fortunately, Rowling and company have plenty of time to go back to the drawing board and figure out a new strategy. The third Fantastic Beasts is allegedly aiming to begin production at some point in 2019 to meet its intended 2020 release date. Though Rowling was penning the script over the summer, there’s no rush to finalize the screenplay, meaning she can make any necessary revisions and hopefully recapture her old sense of magic. Some might argue it’ll be too little too late to salvage Fantastic Beasts, but as long as The Crimes of Grindelwald remains the lone sore spot in the lineup, things will turn out fine.

More: How Fantastic Beasts 3 Can Save the Harry Potter Franchise 

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2018-12-06 01:12:19

Fantastic Beasts’ Grindelwald Is A Better Villain Than Voldemort

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has taken a beating from fans and critics alike, but despite its flaws it does have one major advantage over the original Harry Potter saga: its villain. Lord Voldemort was a pretty one-dimensional villain, primarily concerned with selfish pursuits of power and immortality, and controlling his followers through fear. By contrast, Grindelwald has a grander vision for the world, and knows that it can’t be achieved through sheer brute force alone. Instead, he engages in a chess game with the magical authorities and, by the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald, it’s a game that he’s winning.

The strength of Grindelwald as a character will be key to the success of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which still has three more movies in the pipeline. Although Newt Scamander is the protagonist of the story, Fantastic Beasts is really the chronicle of Grindelwald’s rise to power and his eventual defeat by Albus Dumbledore. Given that the story will come to a close in 1945, the movies will also inevitably end up incorporating the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, which have already come into play via Grindelwald’s vision of the future.

Related: What Fantastic Beasts 2’s Bad Reviews Are Missing

If Grindelwald is to serve as the wizarding world’s version of Adolf Hitler in this story, then he can’t simply be an evil man with great power searching for magical relics with the help of a small handful of followers. The Fantastic Beasts movies also need to explore how Grindelwald managed to bring a significant portion of the wizarding community over to his side. In The Crimes of Grindelwald, we got a chilling glimpse of how he achieves that.

  • This Page: Why Voldemort Is A Pretty Boring Villain
  • Page 2: Why Grindelwald Is A More Interesting Villain Than Voldemort

Voldemort Is Openly Evil & Controls Through Fear

First of all, it should be noted that Voldemort being a rather one-dimensional villain isn’t necessarily a great black mark against the original Harry Potter series. In those books and films, the emphasis was on the heroes and their relationships, struggles, and triumphs, and Voldemort primarily existed as a force for them to work against. In many of the books he either popped up only at the end, or only in some oblique form (Chamber of Secrets), or even not at all (Prisoner of Azkaban). We did eventually learn Voldemort’s backstory – that he was the son of an exiled witch from a fallen pure-blood family, and that his father was a haughty muggle who was tricked into marriage through use of a love potion. However, by all accounts it seemed as though Tom Riddle was “evil” from a very early age, frightening and tormenting his fellow orphans in the orphanage where he was raised.

Voldemort was never really shown to be a particularly skilled manipulator of people, instead choosing to exert control through fear – to the point that wizards and witches were terrified to even speak his name (which literally translates as “Flight of Death”). He never offered any pretense of having a noble cause or having the wizarding world’s wellbeing in his best interests. His followers were made up of pure-blood witches and wizards who feared him almost as much as everyone else, and during his second rise to power most of them returned to his side out of fear rather than loyalty.

Voldemort’s brute-force approach to power is also reflected in the fact that his strategizing left a lot to be desired. He created his own worst enemy, in Harry Potter, by attempting to kill him as a baby – thereby crippling himself and leaving Harry with an extra layer of protection. His most complex plan was executed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, when he planted Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise at Hogwarts and manipulated the entirety of the Triwizard Tournament all so that Harry would grab the Triwizard Cup, which had been turned into a portkey, and be transported to the graveyard where Tom Riddle Sr. was buried. Of course, as many fans have pointed out over the years, this plan was laughably over-complicated, especially since the only thing Voldemort actually needed for the ritual was a few drops of Harry’s blood – which Crouch could have gotten at any time.

Basically, Voldemort is shown to be a powerful but rather stupid villain, who is hamstrung over and over again by his own arrogance. His followers joined him out of fear or power-lust, but few were truly loyal to him. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, all it takes is for the Death Eaters to see that Harry has survived Voldemort’s Killing Curse a second time, and many of them Disapparate on the spot. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that dismantling Grindelwald’s support will be so easy.

Page 2: Why Grindelwald Is A More Interesting Villain Than Voldemort

Grindelwald Is A Silver-Tongued Manipulator

For most of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Grindelwald was hidden in plain sight, disguised as the Auror Percival Graves. However, even in that film it was apparent that Grindelwald was a different breed of bad guy than Voldemort – favoring manipulation over force. He reached out to the emotionally-crippled Credence Barebone and offered him interest and affection in exchange for helping to find New York City’s Obscurial, but when it seemed that Credence was of no further use to him, Grindelwald callously showed his true colors – telling Credence that he is an unteachable Squib and dismissing him with a declaration of, “I’m done with you.” This triggers the Obscurial to lash out and wreak destruction on New York, setting a key precedent: that Grindelwald does the most damage through words rather than magic.

When we’re reunited with the villainous wizard at the start of The Crimes of Grindelwald, the first thing we learn about him is that he’s a master of manipulation – to the point that MACUSA kept having to change his guard, and eventually cut out his tongue in order to shut him up (or so they thought). The movie’s opening sequence effectively reiterates what we learned about Grindelwald from the last movie: that he manipulates people in order to achieve his goals, treats them sweetly while they are still useful to him, and discards them as soon as they have outlived their use. In this case, it’s a magical lizard that Grindelwald holds with faux-affection in the hijacked carriage, and then casually throws out of the door – mocking it for being “so needy.”

Related: Fantastic Beasts: How Credence’s Mother Can Be Related To Voldemort

Unlike Voldemort, however, Grindelwald takes active measures to hide his own evil nature and motivations. After slaughtering a muggle family in order to take over their house, Grindelwald scolds his follower, Rosier, for casually spouting anti-muggle rhetoric. “We don’t say such things out loud,” he reminds her. It’s a clear sign that Grindelwald cares about moderating his public persona – something that Voldemort never did. Grindelwald eschews open hatred in favor of professing himself to be a champion of “truth,” “freedom,” and “the greater good,” and couches his bigotry in softer language – telling those who attend his rally that muggles are not lesser, but other, and that they can continue to exist and serve a purpose in his planned new world order. This sly approach allows him to win over Queenie Goldstein, who is frustrated by the magical laws that prevent her from marrying Jacob.

Perhaps Grindelwald’s greatest and most unsettling strength as a villain is the fact that there is some merit to his arguments – even if they are simply a cover for darker intentions. He taps into the wizarding world’s frustration at being forced to stay “in the closet” for the benefit of muggles, despite muggles being weaker than them. He also provokes the Ministry of Magic into a harsh and heavy-handed response, pushing them to crack down on any support of his ideas and, in turn, generating greater resentment against the current establishment. Theseus Scamander, seeing the trap that Grindelwald has laid for them, warns his Aurors not to use excessive force against those who attend Grindelwald’s rally in Père Lachaise. Ultimately, however, this caution fails when Grindelwald subtly goads one of his new recruits into attacking an Auror, causing them to retaliate with the Killing Curse. The rally attendees then depart, taking with them a story of Grindelwald promising liberation and the Ministry of Magic murdering someone merely for listening to that promise.

By the end of the movie, Grindelwald has won over both Queenie and Credence to his side by promising to fulfil their deepest desires, and successfully spread the terror of the imminent Second World War among the wizarding community – compounding the animosity towards muggles. He also conjures a massive fire dragon that almost destroys Père Lachaise and the rest of Paris, but by that point the worst damage has already been done.

In conclusion, it’s hard to deny that Grindelwald is not only more compelling, but also infinitely more dangerous than Voldemort. That being said, Fantastic Beasts has also delivered the perfect heroic foil for Grindelwald – and we’re not talking about Dumbledore. The Crimes of Grindelwald makes a strong case for why Newt Scamander, not Dumbledore, is the protagonist of this series; as Dumbledore points out, Newt has no desire for power, so there’s little that Grindelwald could offer him to sway his allegiance. And while Grindelwald may have vast schemes and intricate knowledge of magic on his side, the simpler things in life are a blind spot for him – which is why he’s ultimately outwitted by a Niffler.

More: Fantastic Beasts 3: Release Date, Story Details & Every Update

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2018-12-05 06:12:05

Fantastic Beasts 2’s Blood Pact Can Explain Dumbledore’s Biggest Secret

SPOILERS for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ahead.

Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s blood pact in the Fantastic Beasts movies can explain one of the biggest unanswered questions in the Harry Potter books. There were a lot of retcons to the original movie series in The Crimes of Grindelwald, although one that’s got fans most hot under the cloak is the “blood troth“, a magical oath between Albus and Gellert that the pair would never fight each other.

In the Harry Potter timeline, Grindelwald was a dark wizard precursor to Voldemort who terrorized Europe in the early-to-mid 20th Century, eventually beaten by Dumbledore in a legendary duel in 1945. This was the end of a multi-decade long battle between the pair, old friends who aimed to hunt down the Deathly Hallows but eventually drifted apart. That rift was solidified when Dumbledore’s sister Ariana died in a three-way duel between himself, brother Aberforth and Grindelwald, with it unclear whose reflected blast killed her.

Related: Fantastic Beasts 2’s Biggest Harry Potter Retcons (And Plot Holes)

The blood troth, at first, appears to be a way for Fantastic Beasts to explain why Dumbledore held back from confronting Grindelwald for so long. The first two movies in the prequel series are set in 1926 and 1927 respectively, almost 20 years before he eventually stops Gellert. Having a magical enchantment is an easy plot device to keep them apart and, as The Crimes of Grindelwald showed, a good way to keep original protagonist Newt Scamander at the center of the adventure (as well as explaining why Credence aka Aurelius Dumbledore is so important). However, the blood pact may also serve as a way to explain Ariana’s death.

Very little is known about the specific magic used in the agreement, beyond that its intention is to stop Dumbledore and Grindelwald from fighting. Some have assumed it operates similarly to the Unbreakable Vow as seen in The Half-Blood Prince, where failure to follow the agreement leads to immediate death. Given the different process, though, it’s possible that the troth is more about the act of combat and protecting one from killing another. In this context, that would mean Dumbledore and Grindelwald could enter into a fight, but neither would be able to land a blow.

Put in the context of what’s known about Ariana’s death, the fateful duel could have been a result of such a hex. It was started by Aberforth trying to stop Grindelwald’s plans for Muggle dominance, with the other two participants unwilling and not initially combative. When they were pulled into the fight, things went wrong. Was the pact broken here and Ariana was caught in the crossfire? That would maintain the inate tragedy of the event, while added an extra layer of regret on Albus’ part that helps him realize the darkness of his friend.

This may actually be the only explanation, given the timing of the blood pact. By the ages of young Dumbledore and Grindelwald when they appear in the Mirror of Erised, the spell was cast around the point that Ariana died. While they could have made it afterward out of remorse, it makes considerably more sense as a sad sign of a former friendship.

Related: All The Fantastic Beasts 3 Plot Clues In The Crimes of Grindelwald

Whatever the truth, it’s clear that the blood pact between Dumbledore and Grindelwald is going to be very important in Fantastic Beasts‘ future, with it serving as the prime motivation for the pair’s use of pawns Newt and Credence respectively, as well as likely being the movies’ most overt presentation of the duo’s romantic relationship.

Next: Fantastic Beasts: Explaining The Harry Potter Canon Plot Holes

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2018-12-04 02:12:13