Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

2016, Heyday Films

J.K. Rowling spins off a new series cut from the same Harry Potter cloth. This slightly overwrought yet very competently produced fantasy introduces new characters decidedly and refreshingly different from Harry et al, and feels much more adult than any that came before. It also imports the characters—along with their magical friends—into 1920s New York City. Eddie Redmayne was practically born for the part of Newt Scamander, while much was made of Johnny Depp's appearance, although it was very brief. Much more is being made of Depp's larger role in the sequel, due largely to all of the unflattering tabloid headlines directed at him, to the point that J.K. Rowling has had to defend the decision to keep him in the role of the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

The second chapter in a planned trilogy, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is slated for release in November 2018, while the third should arrive two years later.

       

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