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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Synopsis:
Albus Dumbledore assigns Newt and his allies with a mission related to the rising power of Grindelwald.

Various allies of Dumbledore go on a mission to prevent the dark wizard Grindelwald from rising to power in . In 1932, Gellert Grindelwald () sets a plan into motion that asserts himself in the election for the head of the International Confederation of Wizards, after the organization acquits Grindelwald of all criminal charges. Magizoologist Newt Scamander () is tasked by Albus Dumbledore () to recruit a group of allies to stop Grindelwald, which includes Newt's brother Theseus Scamander (), muggle baker Jacob Kowalski (), Ilvermorny Charms Professor Eulalie โ€œLallyโ€ Hicks (), Senegalese-French wizard Yusuf Kama (William Nadylam), and Newt's indispensable assistant Bunty Broadacre ().

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is the third film in the Wizarding World prequel series, once again directed by longtime franchise filmmaker David Yates from a screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves. The film picks up fives years after the events of 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, where the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald has amassed a group of followers including Credence Barebone (), revealed to be related to Albus Dumbledore, and Queenie Goldstein (), the sister of Auror Tina Goldstein () and ex-girlfriend of Jacob Kowalski. Using the powers of a rare beast called a Qilin, Grindelwald plans to rig the upcoming election for the leader of the International Confederation of Wizards, with the help of the organization's corrupt German leader Anton Vogel (Oliver Masucci).

A lot has happened in the four years since Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is threatening the future of this prequel franchise, which was envisioned by J.K. Rowling as a five-film arc. However, after J.K. Rowling began expressing transphobic opinions, it has undoubtedly diminished the lustre of this franchise. On top of that, Johnny Depp was fired as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald, due to the actor's ongoing legal troubles, and replaced with Mads Mikkelsen. Curiously, the film opts not to acknowledge the recasting, even though Grindelwald has gone from being a freaky-looking blonde-haired American to a more suave Danish man with a salt-and-pepper hairstyle. Finally, the latest headache for the film came just last month when Ezra Miller was arrested in Hawaii and served with a restraining order.

Because of the combination of the above controversies with poor critical reception and box office performance, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore could very well be the final film of this series. Thankfully, the filmmakers were smart enough not to leave too many threads left open. Other than the promise of an eventual final confrontation between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, the past romantic relationship between the two being acknowledged on-screen for the first time, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore does end at a point where there can be no more films and there wouldn't be many complaints.

However, in retrospect, both Warner Bros, David Yates, and J.K. Rowling should have put the Wizarding World to rest after the Harry Potter films wrapped up over a decade ago. Despite the continued Fantastic Beasts branding, this series has evolved into a Potterverse prequel with no real purpose other than to milk as much money as possible out of this intellectual property.

The films might still be perfectly fine, but there is ultimately no real reason to continue with them. If for one will say that if Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore does end up being the final film, I would not be disappointed at that news.

Trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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