This April, a test is coming to the Wizarding World. And it’ll be one that’s bigger than anything the narratives of the films and books may cover. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third installment in the planned 5-film Newt Scamander series, will be debuting. And today, after many delays, the folks at WB have finally debuted the first trailer for the upcoming film. This will be a true test to see if there’s magic left in a franchise that has seen many, many challenges over the past few years.
You can view the new trailer for the latest installment here:
Unfortunately, Crimes of Grindelwald didn’t have the same warm reception as many of the other films in the franchise financially or commercially. And on top of that, it can’t be ignored that there were controversies surrounding star Ezra Miller’s involvement attacking a woman on video, and of course, former star, Johnny Depp’s famously publicized issues with star Amber Heard. Not to mention multiple incidents regarding creator JK Rowling’s controversial personal views about the Transgender community. So unfortunately for the franchise, it’s going to be difficult for folks to separate their love for the Wizarding World with real life events that haunt it.
However, for what it’s worth, I do think from the narrative standpoint alone that the characters have mostly remained endearing for me. I like Newt and Eddie Redmayne’s performance. I also love Dan Fogler’s Jacob and grew to also appreciate Katherine Waterson’s Tina Goldstein by the end of the second film. The only real issue though I’ve had with the franchise is that it’s ultimately not about any of these great characters, but about one we’ve already explored for years: Albus Dumbledore.
If Warner and Rowling wanted to tell the story of Dumbledore on film, that’s fine. However, they should have just done so in a decoupled Dumbledore-centric series, and separated out the Fantastic Beasts series into its own Indiana Jones-meets-Pokemon franchise that’s actually about Newt Scamander. Then if the events of the Wizarding War with Grindelwald come to affect Scamander’s adventures, they could cross the films over with one another. Sadly though, we are left with a franchise that deserves to be one thing, but is really something else.
Nevertheless, I will admit The Secrets of Dumbledore trailer features some good moments (Jacob + wand?? How will that work? But also, yay!) and the promise of more of scene stealing Bunty! And of course, Jude Law’s Dumbledore is immaculately portrayed. Plus also, a tremendous actor like Mads Mikkelson taking over the role of Grindelwald can only serve to elevate the franchise even more! Overall, I think I also just want answers to the maddening questions raised from its predecessor.
I find myself cautiously optimistic, and highly curious. Let’s hope it deserves my attention as well.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore hits theaters April 2022!
UPDATED 12/20: We now have an official poster for the film, which you can see below!