The announcement of the Fantastic Beasts movie has brought a lot of interesting discussion, including a lot of skepticism. Is it possible to adapt a book that has no story? Yes, by telling the story of its author, Newt Scamander. But who will do that? And here is where the first questions start to arise: J.K. Rowling, who has experience writing books, will write her first movie script for this big project.
This work was thought and propelled by Warner Bros., a studio which seems to never have enough of the wizard boy and every year wants to start new projects and get more profits (which was almost confirmed by the creation of the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development last July). And in my opinion, it is to seek after something that Harry Potter never could get.
With a big “Consider” ad campaign for the last movie, the entire franchise got 12 nominations in its 8 movies for the Academy Awards. And although the number could be enough for some people, the truth is that the nominations were all in technical categories and, despite the opinions of the fans, the movie never won an statuette. The movies never got the recognition of a nomination for Best Picture, neither recognized the work of Alan Rickman who was acclaimed by the critics for his role of Severus Snape.
The films fall into two of Oscar’s least favorite genres: children and fantasy. And that is not the only reason for what the Academy never considered Potter a strong candidate: the eight films didn’t seem a part of the same set of movies. Despite being inspired by the same book series and have the same actors, each movie changed the theme and the style with each new director and crew – making them independent and harder to consider. The opposite happened with The Lord of the Rings, which kept Peter Jackson from the beginning, and made the three films like a larger one (and won a lot of Academy Awards, too).
So, what is the deal with the new Fantastic Beast Movie? Could it be Warner Bros. bet to finally get a Potter Oscar?
One of the details that caught my attention about the movie is that it will take place in New York. J.K. Rowling was always overprotective of the British side of her franchise (for example, allowing only British actors for the movies) – which makes this story detail very unusual of her. Is it possible that it was imposed by Warner Bros? It is not true that is must be a requirement for a movie to be set in the United States to be considered by the Academy Awards, but the records show that it has more chances if that happens.
Continuing with the known movie details, the main character will be Newt Scamander, a wizard searching for magical creatures. At the time when the movie takes place, he has already spent the last two years traveling the world – which makes him an adult by that moment. This takes the movie out of the children’s range, giving another point to aim at the Oscars. At last, the last announcement was that David Yates was almost confirmed to be the director of the three films – let’s not forget that it will be a trilogy! If Warner Bros. ensures aesthetic maintain throughout the entire project, it will give more weight in the face of the Academy (just like happened to The Lords of the Rings).
With the bittersweet taste of being a worldwide success, but still missing the Oscar statuette, it is not crazy to think that Warner Bros. is setting up everything to create a new film series based in Rowling’s World and finally achieve the Award that eluded Potter for almost a decade. Especially after tasting glory with the Academy Winner Gravity (and let’s not forget the Cuarón also was considered for the role in this new Potter movies).