Robyn Vinter 16th November 2018
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens today. It’s the Harry Potter spinoff that nobody asked for, written by JK Rowling, directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law and Johnny Depp.
Depp controversy aside, the bland casting, commercially driven US-centric storylines and generally unappealing characters of the prequel series have left many Potterheads underwhelmed by the prospect of another moneyspinner.
While some have lamented a return to the wizarding world, wishing Rowling would end the lucrative Harry Potter franchise for good, we wouldn’t go that far. In the rich, detailed Harry Potter universe, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of more interesting ideas than the story of Newt Scamander, who everyone knows is essentially a dull, 1930s Hagrid. So, here are some Harry Potter spin-off films we actually want to see.
(Contains some original book series spoilers.)
The Daily Prophet is a wizard institution. Virtually every British witch and wizard subscribes to the newspaper — despite editorial meddling from the Ministry and its inclination towards gossip from the acerbic quill of chief reporter Rita Skeeter. When a young Xenophilius Lovegood starts The Quibbler, a rival (and somewhat… unconventional) publication, he makes a powerful enemy. Can he tell truth to power without getting shut down?
Phil Smith has always been a bit strange. At a young age, he could do weird, seemingly impossible, things other kids couldn’t — though, these days it amounts to moving his colleague’s stapler across the desk using only his mind. But one day his whole life is turned upside down when he’s approached by the headmistress of a prestigious wizard school, apologising that his admission letter got lost in the post. What choice does Phil have but to say goodbye to his wife and kids and go back to school?
Arthur Weasley 2.0
Things have moved on since the first seven books, where 90s electronics like Sega Mega Drives and digital watches were the most magical the muggle world got. Arthur Weasley is nearing a well-earned retirement at the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office where he regulates and confiscates bewitched muggle items from wayward wizards, while secretly harbouring a love for all things muggle. But there’s one adventure Arthur has never had, which he’s determined to do before he retires… he wants to surf the internet.
Inspired by Dobby’s martyrdom, the house elves of the world begin to question their tenure to prominent wizard families. Young, radical house elves are fighting for their freedom, and it’s not long before a coup forms, bringing down some of the most powerful wizards in the world because they don’t know how to wash their own underwear.
Fresh out of Hogwarts, James Potter and Lily Evans have joined rebel group the Order of the Phoenix, along with their friends Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and the spy Peter Pettigrew. Rumours of Voldemort’s rise to power are circulating, and both wizards and muggles are disappearing. Set among the oppressive atmosphere of Thatcherism with a heady ‘70s soundtrack, The Order is about the power of resistance in the face of futility.
Witch Service Do You Require?
It’s not easy being a paramedic — especially when you’re treating dragon burns and patients who have grown extra heads. Join magical medicine student Floberta Phibbs as she drives her enchanted ambulance from one emergency to another at St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries while trying to keep her cool and pass her medical exams. Oh yeah, and she’s part vampire.
Once the best all-women quidditch team in the UK, the Holyhead Harpies have hit a record low. Now selling approximately one ticket per game, not even champion chaser Ginny Weasley can save them. But when a new manager with a grass-roots approach shows up — who just happens to be the ghost of Francis Quidditch, the game’s inventor — can they reach the top of the league? You bet they can!
Clipclop has worked at Gringotts his entire adult life. Like every goblin who toils away at the prestigious bank, his entire career has been devoted to the creation and preservation of gold. But when he finds himself in middle-management, spending the vast majority of his time foreclosing on poverty-stricken wizards’ homes, Clipclop realises some things in life are more valuable than money.
Robyn Vinter 16th November 2018