Fantastic Beasts film and Casual Vacancy miniseries reviving Potterhead fandom

Sept. 30, 2013

Eleanor Skelton
[email protected]

Those Potterheads still lingering over the last pages of “Deathly Hallows” and re-watching the Harry Potter film saga: your childhood is not over.

Rumors about more film projects were confirmed in an article in the New York Times on Sept. 12, announcing a film based on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” for which J.K. Rowling herself is a screenwriter.

Additionally, there will be a TV miniseries based on “The Casual Vacancy,” her latest book, which was reviewed by The Scribe in an Oct. 8 issue last year.

Reactions from Internet fandoms have been mixed, but enthusiasm reverberates throughout most of the postings. A Tumblr meme said: “Dear all other fandoms, sorry, but we can’t hear you over the sound of our second movie series. Sincerely, Potterheads.”

Another meme modified the “Deathly Hallows” poster caption with Harry and Voldemort facing off: “It All Ends 7.15” changed to “Haha! JK! (Rowling).”

Youatthebarricades’s Tumblr post from Sept. 12 reads, “I love that we didn’t really hear that much from JKR in a while and then we got ‘Casual Vacancy’ and then suddenly she’s written another book we didn’t even know about and then she’s got a sequel to that coming and now she’s doing a screenplay. All within a year. It’s like she was saving it up till we got bored or something.”

Other fans offered detailed speculations about a potential return of Tom Riddle. Sterek-in-our-stars posted Sept. 26, “Guys, I just figured something out! In ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ guess who we might see… Remember in ‘Chamber of Secrets’ when Harry found Riddle’s diary that was 50 years old? And Riddle was 5th year so he had to be 15 years younger right? And ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is 70 years before HP. Did you do the math?!”

“You know what would be really interesting? If Hagrid’s mom was in it,” blogger joemerl said on Sept. 26.

Fans also expressed hopes for further films developing the world of wizardry, like blogger captainmentalistlocked, who said on Sept. 26, “I really hope we get a ‘Hogwarts: A History’ movie. I really want to know about the founders.”

Criticism for the new series seemed to center on social justice issues, both in the United States and within Rowling’s world.

Whatdoyouseecassiebee’s commented, “All I want for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is a POC [person of color] to play Newt Scamander.”

Similarly, tarltarasa said, “Newt Scamander created the Werewolf Registry, which forces all werewolves to register with the Ministry of Magic. Suddenly I’m less enthusiastic about having him as a protagonist…”

One fan thought the choice of film topic was a plot twist. Another user, emily-ism, said Sept. 26, “To be honest, I always assumed that if there was going to be a sequel, it would either be about the parents (I wanted a Maurader’s tv show!!), the children, or Albus Dumbledore’s life. Never did I think it could be about one textbook from one part of the series. Never. Rowling always keeps us on our toes, I suppose.”