With “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” coming to theaters this week, it begs the question: is there too much “Harry Potter” in the world?
Many college-aged students were a part of the generation who grew up with “Harry Potter.” The first books came out in the late ’90s, and by the time the movies started premiering in the early ’00s, the story of the boy wizard was entrancing readers, both young and old. Fans lined up for midnight releases of both novels and films, with the final movie in the series bringing in 1.342 billion dollars.
In addition to the story of Harry himself, the franchise has launched a theme park, an interactive studios tour, a play and most recently, a new film series.
It was announced that “Fantastic Beasts” will be the start of a new 5-part movie franchise, and it was revealed at the premiere that the next film will feature Albus Dumbledore, with the actor not revealed as of yet, as well as Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp. J.K. Rowling, author of the series defended the choice, after fans expressed mixed feelings over the role.
However, fans are not only having mixed feelings about Depp’s casting. The announcement of a new series, alongside negative reviews of last summer’s play, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” have left fans wondering when “Harry Potter” will finally nuke the fridge.
According to Urban Dictionary, the phrase “nuke the fridge” refers to “the moment in a film series that is so incredible that it lessens the excitement of subsequent scenes that rely on more understated action or suspense, and it becomes apparent that a certain installment is not as good as previous installments, due to ridiculous or low quality storylines, events or characters.”
The phrase comes from a scene in the latest “Indiana Jones” film, and it can be applied to many famous movies. With the original “Harry Potter” holding so dear in the hearts of many, fans are left to wonder what heights the new films will have to go to in order to keep audiences interested. The major fear is the “Star Wars” effect: that without proper handling, new films will end up detracting from the original series rather than adding to it.
On the other hand, many are excited to simply have more content from the wizarding world. Although the problems of “Cursed Child” may be due to the fact that the story of Harry himself should be over, the new settings, characters and stories of the series starting with “Fantastic Beasts” might be just what the wizarding world needs. Fans have been loving the new content on Pottermore, and beyond discovering one’s house or patronus, the novels left plenty of information out that J.K. Rowling is happy to give to readers long after the books end.
“Fantastic Beasts” also delves into the wizarding world in America, something that American fans are more than happy to hear about. Although the film is set in the ’20s, it is nice to see more about witches and wizards in the U.S., and fans are hoping that the new film franchise establishes more about the world that we have yet to see.
Is there too much “Harry Potter”? Considering that this is the series that ushered in literacy around the world and enchanted an entire generation for over a decade, fans are happy for the content to keep coming, as long as it is not about Harry Potter’s family anymore.
Collegian Social Managing Editor Chapman W. Croskell can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @Nescwick.