Fantastic Beasts Sequels - Eddie Redmayne

Even though Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) was the main character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be in the four impending sequels that are set to cover 19 years of narrative time in the wizarding world.

In a recent conversation, franchise producer David Heyman confirmed that Mr. Scamander won’t always be at the center of each movie. Honestly, that’s probably for the best.

Find out more about the Fantastic Beasts sequels after the jump, but beware of major spoilers for the first movie.

By the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we learned that Gellert Grindelwald has infiltrated MACUSA and has been impersonating Percival Graves this entire time. He’s been in pursuit of the dark magical force known as an Obscurus in an effort to spark a war between Muggles and wizarding kind so that the magical community might finally rule over everyone else. But Grindelwald is apprehended and taken into custody, locked away wherever MACUSA keeps their prisoners (which could be Azkaban, but we’re not sure).

With news of a young Dumbledore being part of the next sequel (we have some suggestions about who should play him), and the casting of Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald, not to mention the 19 year narrative window, it’s clear that we’re going to see how Grindelwald and Dumbledore come to blows and have their big duel in 1945. So how does Newt Scamander factor into all of this? Well, it sounds like he won’t always have to.

One of my biggest problems with Fantastic Beasts, despite how much I enjoyed it, was the fact that Newt Scamander’s story already felt tangential to the story that J.K. Rowling is building up to. Because of that, I had a hard time seeing how they would keep him involved in the story as the main character without it feeling extremely contrived. But according to David Heyman’s chat with CinemaBlend, that might not be a concern:

I don’t think [Newt will be at] the heart of all of them. I think he’ll be part — so will Tina, Queenie and Jacob — will be part of the next one.

Further confirming what all the Harry Potter fans have assumed, he clarified in an answer to a follow-up question, “[Dumbledore] and Credence and Grindelwald. I think they will be the main players.”

While this revelation somewhat cheapens the story being told in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there’s something appealing about the leads not always being the same in this franchise. What we could be looking at is more of an ensemble franchise, perhaps akin to how the Marvel cinematic universe has developed over the years, but with a clearer overarching story that weaves through them all. Or to make another comparison, maybe this will be like Game of Thrones in the wizarding world with a larger array of characters allowing for different leads in each movie, all having an integral part in a larger story.

Even if that’s not how this all pans out and Dumbledore, Grindelwald and Credence are the main characters for the rest of the franchise, it’s probably best the Newt Scamander becomes only an ancillary character. As the character even admits himself, he’s a bit annoying, and I only find his awkward, quirky charm to work in small doses. He’s a refreshing change of pace for a hero, but I couldn’t handle him as the hero for four more movies. But I’m still keen on learning more about his backstory, especially with one character already promised to have a pivotal role in the sequel.

Fantastic Beasts 2 is slated to hit theaters on November 16, 2018.

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