It’s been almost eight years now since the Harry Potter film franchise came to an end.
I remember walking out of the theater after Deathly Hallow Part 2 almost in tears because I, like so many others, believed our time in the Wizarding World was over. Those books and movies represented a large part of our childhood. The characters themselves felt like family. Fans everywhere were emotionally invested in the story.
That was 2011 — a bittersweet year.
Harry Potter fans all over the world were torn between their thrill of seeing Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s final adventure brought to life for the world to see, and being saddened by the notion that this could very well be our last adventure with them.
Then, in 2013, J.K. Rowling decided the world wasn’t done with Witches and Wizards just yet. So, there was an announcement of a new addition, a prequel: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It wouldn’t be about the characters we had grown to love. The prequel would be set inside the same world and that would have to be good enough.
Well, $814 million dollars later and the announcement that the Fantastic Beasts franchise would span over the course of five movies proves it was more than good enough. J.K. Rowling was right. The world isn’t even close to being ready to say goodbye to the beautiful world she lovingly crafted all those years ago.
The Fantastic Beasts series will tell a story Harry Potter fans have been clamoring to see brought to life for years. The story of Dumbledore and Grindelwald desperately needed to be told on the big screen.
However, this Harry Potter super-fan thinks there are plenty other stories that could be told and plenty more magic to be made in this world of witches and wizards. Here are five of the biggest:
The First War Against Voldemort
This is by far the most logical and important story that needs to be told. Harry Potter is known as “The Boy Who Lived” and we as the audience know how that came to be. However, we are only given a small part of the rather big and full picture.
This story of Voldemort demands to be told because it completes what we know by directly influencing and shaping the entire Harry Potter saga. This story could be two-fold as it could show us exactly how Voldemort rose to power, as well as show us who stepped up to stop him. It would have a direct connection to the characters we know and even create an opportunity to feature others that only received a mention in the books and films.
If you thought the final battle against Voldemort in the Deathly Hallows was intense, the first war was more so because of its dire uncertainty. This quote from the books really paints a picture of just how terrifying a time it was:
“You don’t know who his supporters are. You don’t know who’s working for him and who isn’t. You know he can control people so that they do terrible things without being able to stop themselves. You’re scared for yourself, and your family, and your friends.
Every week, news comes of more deaths, more disappearances, more torturing… The Ministry of Magic’s in disarray, they don’t know what to do, they’re trying to keep everything hidden from the Muggles, but meanwhile, Muggles are dying too. Terror everywhere… panic… confusion… that’s how it used to be.”
Sounds terrifying, right?
Telling this story would allow the film makers and writers to give us more insight into how Voldemort became so powerful and how he was able gain such a big following.
James and Lilly Potter (Harry’s parents) were part of the original Order of the Phoenix who we know played a big part in opposing Voldemort the first time. The original order also included the likes of Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape, Frank & Alice Longbottom, Hagrid, Mad Eye Moody, Albus & Aberforth Dumbledore, Peter Pettigrew and the infamous Prewett’s, who according to legend took on and almost defeated five death eaters at once (they are also the brothers of Molly Weasley).
Think about the potential! This story is ripe with characters who are just begging for their time in the spotlight. And so are we.
You know that handy little map Harry uses to see where everyone is inside the castle of Hogwarts? Know what that map is called? Yep, you guessed it! The Marauders Map.
Ever wonder how it came to be and what the creators of it used it for during their time at school? Well, so have I and I’d love to see their story adapted for a film series or Netflix-style television series. Imagine the gripping story of four best friends sneaking around the halls of school getting into all kinds of mischief. That could make for some humorous entertainment for all Harry Potter fans.
This story would unfold the core of this friendship that has already been established within the Harry Potter canon. The map has been used numerous times throughout the books and films. We have met the core members of the Marauders — James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and that little rat (literally) Peter Pettigrew.
These best friends at school experienced all kinds of havoc during their tenure at Hogwarts. Imagine the Weasley twins multiplied by four! This coming-of-age tale about four trouble-making best friends deserves to be told. Give us some Marauders, we “solemnly swear that we are up to no good.”
The Aurors, much like the CIA or Britain’s MI-6, are the best of the best when ti comes to investigation and justice. The Department of Magical Law Enforcement are elite and highly trained operatives that take on global threatening assignments and operate mostly in secrecy.
Luckily, we are granted a look at a few of these highly trained magical operatives in action throughout the course of the books and films in the form of Kinglsey Shacklebolt, Tonks and Mad-Eye Moody. Unfortunately, what we know about the risks they face every day is still very much a mystery.
In the main book and film series, these magical sleuths were largely relegated to Harry’s sidekicks, pawns in helping Harry achieve his ultimate goal in defeating Voldemort. While positioned as “sidekicks,” make no mistake — these guys are the top dogs in law enforcement and deserve a story of their own.
A spin-off series that revolves around the Aurors would be able to blend magic, action, and espionage. Imagine this: A Mission Impossible/James Bond-style story complete with the heavy (and visually beautiful) use of magic in an effort to save the world. It would create a new sub-genre within the Wizarding World. Wizard spies? Sign me up!
The “Unspeakables” are the witches, wizards, and magical creatures that work in the Department of Mysteries within the Ministry of Magic.
A spin-off about these employees and their clandestine department would require a bit more exploration simply because what goes on in the Department of Mysteries is still largely…. a mystery (pun intended). It is only known these employees carry out highly confidential research regarding the various mysteries of the world including: love, space, thought, time, and death.
Why are they called “Unspeakables” you ask? They never divulge the content or findings applicable to the research they do and the studies they conduct. Due to the highly classified nature of the Department of Mysteries, this department acts independently from the Ministry despite the department being located within the ministry itself. This department also does not have to answer to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
We have seen inside this department in the Order of the Phoenix somewhat. In fact, a big battle between Harry & company against the Death Eaters took place there with — SPOILER ALERT! — Sirius meeting his untimely end in the Death Chamber. However, any explanation as to exactly what we actually saw in those scenes has been absent.
Its inclusion in the Order of the Phoenix seems like one giant tease that was never revisited after that book or movie; hence, why we need a spin-off here. In the words of Karl Mordo (because nothing is complete without a Marvel reference), the audience would need to “forget everything we think we know.” Films that challenge the audiences concept of reality have actually been fairly popular recently (we’re looking at you Inception).
Looking back on the books and films, advanced magic such as time travel, the ability to erase memories, and the ability to evade death itself have been mentioned and briefly showcased. Aside from that, most of the magic we have seen are simple wand tricks. Why have limits been placed on the use of magic? And by whom? I bet those “Unspeakables” could tell us if we got them talking!
The New Order
Lastly, Warner Bros. and Rowling could take the series and propel it forward in a way similar to how Star Wars is handling their new sequels. Voldemort is gone, so they could get creative and attempt to bring him back in logical, believable way. However, why risk fatigue in rehashing the same story with the same villain?
Star Wars did it right, if you ask me. Lord Vader and the Sith left a lasting legacy, and that legacy has lived on and inspired others to take up the cause. Enter Kylo Ren and Snoke. Two Sith fanatics that created the First Order and carried on doing Vader and the Sith’s work. Why not something similar here?
Think about it: Voldemort values pure bloods over any other kind of witch or wizard, and over all the muggles. Those extremist views and values don’t just fade away. There will always be people to carry them on. Those values and beliefs will be passed on to the next generation and out of that group of extremist, Voldemort fanatics.
Someone, somewhere will rise up to lead them.
Imagine the possibilities when that happens. A New Order will need to be established to once again oppose the darkness from taking control. Like Star Wars, this new series will have the ability to blend the old with the new. Surviving characters from the main storyline will be able to re-appear in this new series to interact with, fight with and/or alongside some of the newer introduced characters. Who wouldn’t want to see Harry, Ron and Hermione fighting alongside their children with the fate of the Wizarding World in the balance yet again?!
This new series would allow the writers and film makers ample freedom to take this franchise into the future. They would not be tied down to the story that came before it, nor have any restraints on where they take the story. The ability to blend the old with new allows this film to have a familiar feel, while still feeling completely new and refreshing to the audience.
So, In Summary…
Making prequels is great, and there’s a lot of stories from the past that deserve to be told, but in making prequels the stories must line up with the already established lore.
A story about the new Order of the Phoenix and the rise of a new “Voldemort-like” powerful dark wizard will allow this series to still connect to the main franchise while giving the audience a completely new story with new characters to meet and hopefully grow to care about.
Sure, it would do great financially, but for the fans, that kind of storytelling gives us a reason to dream. And that is magical for everyone.