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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 5-film series


His Royal Noelness
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I don't care for the movie franchise, but I wished they got to make all the 5 planned films if only to listen to 3 more JNH fantasy scores :D. Also, the prospect of him scoring the legendary final duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald are pretty enticing. 

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45 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

I don't care for the movie franchise, but I wished they got to make all the 5 planned films if only to listen to 3 more JNH fantasy scores :D. Also, the prospect of him scoring the legendary final duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald are pretty enticing. 

 

Couldn't agree more. And maybe I am not that well exposed to JNH's work. But the Fantastic Beasts series strikes me as his magnum opus - the way middle earth is for Shore and Star Wars is for Williams.

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The co-writer of course being Steve Kloves who obviously developed a rapport with her through all those years on the HP movies. Supposedly they had an ongoing email chain where she made herself available anytime he had questions or wanted notes and she always spoke highly of him...I would guess at this point he is the only person who could tell her something's shit and she'd listen and that's why he was brought on in the first place. After the second underperformed, WB was probably putting a little pressure on her for the first time and Kloves is the only person she'd write with. 

 

Then again he also co-produced the first two Beasts so it's not like he's a fresh pair of eyes anyway. For all we know they made the decision themselves to co-write together. Honestly I didn't even hate the second movie but the whole thing just feels like a lost cause, it's an irrelevant franchise both in relation to Potter and just in general as its own pop culture item and it's already the butt of jokes before they're even halfway through, plus the Depp fiasco and now Rowling herself is controversial. Beyond that she and Yates et al just have clearly not convinced anywhere near enough people that we want five stories to justify all the gossip and lavish expense, as opposed to Potter where you wouldn't have been able to hold back the masses from showing up for a couple extra books and films.

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1 hour ago, TSMefford said:

As much as I want more James Newton Howard's Fantastic Beasts scores, I am perfectly content to pretend that they made a one-off Fantastic Beasts movie a few years ago and that was it if the series does end up quietly fizzling out.

 

It depends on how much control Rowling has over the script for the third one vs the co-writer, but yeah. It's crazy because I honestly really enjoyed the first film and she wrote that one...but Crimes of Grindlewald is just a significant downgrade in the screenwriting department to me. No idea what she was thinking with that one. I don't hate all of it...but I sure hate most of it. When it comes out, I'll watch the 3rd, especially if it's on HBO Max, but I have extremely low expectations for the writing.

 

It would not surprise me if that rumor were true, especially with them having to recast Grindlewald as well. Oh well.

The first one can't be a standalone film because of the big Grindelwald plot so heavily woven throughout the film...

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Co-Producer and even producer credits in Hollywood mean jack shit. It literally is no guarantee that person was ever on set or even saw the film before the premiere.

 

I think having Steve Kloves co-write with Rowling was 100% a studio decision. Simply because it is unflattering for Rowling. I am a writer/aspiring writer. Writers take pride in doing it alone - specially as she is one of the most successful writers in history of mankind.

 

Needing a co-writer was an admission of defeat to a certain extent. I am sure she did not do that willingly.

 

Also think about this, suddenly she has to listen to somebody. Rowling is so big (and has been for over a decade now) that she can get a first draft published with not even an editor giving her notes of any kind. Now she will have to listen to Kloves as her co-equal writer (though obviously she would technically also be his boss in the relationship).

 

So yes, I don't think this was a Rowling decision. It was a studio decision. 

 

The fatal flaw of the second movie is that it is not suited for cinema. It is a ridiculous convoluted backstory for a character that dies. It would have been perfectly fine in any novel. But on screen, it simply did not work, was not remotely interesting and was just plain boring and completely tangential. 

 

Again, I thought she showed enormous skill in the script of the first movie, which is actually very well written. Who knows - maybe there was always a ghost writer. Actually I would be money there was. Maybe Kloves was always a ghost writer at the back. Maybe after the success of the first film they decided they did not need him for Movie 2 and actually brought him in a full capacity after the failure of movie 2.

 

 

6 minutes ago, Arpy said:

The first one can't be a standalone film because of the big Grindelwald plot so heavily woven throughout the film...

 

It can be. All the conflicts established in the movie are resolved by the end. And the bad guy goes to jail. That's a good enough ending. 

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1 minute ago, mrbellamy said:

 

You could watch it as a curio. "Aw too bad they didn't make more!"

 

The bakery is a very nice little ending on its own, the little hint that Jacob might remember. Ignore the Grindelwald stuff and the foursome has a story that stands on its own.


Exactly. It works perfectly fine on its own. Grindelwald proper wasn’t really a big deal until the second one anyway. The first is firmly focused on the foursome.

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42 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Co-Producer and even producer credits in Hollywood mean jack shit. It literally is no guarantee that person was ever on set or even saw the film before the premiere. 

 

Generally I'd feel safe assuming someone credited as Producer which Kloves had on Beasts (as opposed to co-producer, associate producer, exec producer) had a more direct responsibility for the movie but yes there have been exceptions to that, like Rowling herself on Deathly Hallows where there is no evidence she had anything to do with making those movies and it seems like something they gave to her as an honorary title and that she took to give them a stamp of approval...unlike the writers and directors guilds, the producers guild is a club and not a labor union so yeah, less accountability around credits.

 

That said Kloves was always a big part of Heyman's little brain trust so I don't doubt he was around, especially on the first one. 

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Zack Snyder had a producer credit on WW84 - not co-producer but producer credit - and he literally had nothing to do with the film. 

 

Nolan was a producer on Man of Steel and Cavill said - AT THE PREMIERE - that he had never met Nolan or spoken to him.

 

Sometimes, producers take credit - AFTER THEY SEE A FILM. For example Martin Scorsese on The Souvenir. He literally had nothing to do with the making of the film.

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1 hour ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Zack Snyder had a producer credit on WW84 - not co-producer but producer credit - and he literally had nothing to do with the film. 

 

Nolan was a producer on Man of Steel and Cavill said - AT THE PREMIERE - that he had never met Nolan or spoken to him.

 

Sometimes, producers take credit - AFTER THEY SEE A FILM. For example Martin Scorsese on The Souvenir. He literally had nothing to do with the making of the film.

 

Scorsese did get involved with The Souvenir before it started shooting after seeing Hogg's previous films, and that was an executive producer credit. I'm not sure exactly what capacity he was involved, I'm assuming financing or yeah, just offering his name for promotional purposes.

 

I wouldn't say Nolan never meeting Cavill is really indicative of anything since he had three partners and was clearly an active producer on Man of Steel. I know nothing about Wonder Woman 1984, though, that could be a weird one.

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As far as Producer and how often they're involved. Honestly, when some movies have lists of 4-10 Producers, there's no way that they all came to set every day and/or had a significant influence on the creative of the film. A lot of the time people throw their own money into a film and get some type of Producer credit as thanks, usually Executive I believe, and that's it honestly. The title of Producer, Executive Producer, etc honestly means very little to me because of that. It ranges from some person who threw money at the film and visits the set once or twice vs someone who is there every day and contributes actual ideas or apprehensions about certain things to the point where it actually effects the film.

 

There are some main producers that are present very often (David Heyman comes to mind) and have a big influence. It's hard to say for sure exactly how involved any given producer was without a decent amount of research and watching tons of set footage.

 

But it can and does happen either way quite often, which is why I care very little about who Produces any given film because that title could mean so many things.

 

EDIT: Here's a more specific quote about Kloves' involvement on the first Fantastic Beasts film at least. All I could find at the moment:

Quote

There’s a great industry history of authors being great screenwriters. She’s so talented, and no surprise, she wrote a brilliant screenplay. Also, she had an amazing collaborator in Steve Kloves, who worked on many of the Harry Potter scripts. He’s not writing, but he’s around to help her if she ever needs anything.

 

It's entirely possible that that is the extent of his work on the film and he never visited the set, but that's me merely assuming things.

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So the question now is, where did the franchise go wrong? I still stand by my earlier opinion that the beasts are part of the problem. I don't give a shit about Newt (or Yates). Give me politcs, more Mary Barebone.

 

Well, it's not just the beasts, it's more that I always feel like I'm watching two differnet movies: a Newt one and another one I do want.

 

And I just don't care about Leta and all that crap either. The only interesting characters are Tina (and Jacob before he went all weird in the second one). I don't need a young Dumbledore either, they had their chance for that in DH.

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43 minutes ago, May the Force be with You said:

bad directing.

Hiring Yates was a mistake from the begining

 

Yates is NOT a bad director. By any possible stretch of the imagination. I think people are letting their impression from the writing trickle over to their impression of the directing.

 

I watched the movie. I couldn't make any sense of it, but Yates directing had an exuberence and flair to burn.

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1 minute ago, Yavar Moradi said:

applies much more to Azkaban than any other Harry Potter film.

 

And yet Azkaban isn't my favourite Potter.

 

Rather, its one of the Yates-helmed one.

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I don't think Yates is even the biggest problem of the franchise. The problem lies with JK Rowling herself.

 

Crimes of Grindelwald might be one of the worst scripts ever written for a major Hollywood blockbuster. It's bizarre how poorly written that movie was. It's like Rowling had a bunch of ideas, but instead of actually developing them in a satisfying way, she just threw everything but the kitchen sink into the script.

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On 6/15/2021 at 6:17 PM, TheUlyssesian said:

But the Fantastic Beasts series strikes me as his magnum opus - the way middle earth is for Shore and Star Wars is for Williams.

 Yeah, but unfortunately the Fantastic Beasts series is not as good as the Middle Earth movies or even the the Star Wars movies. 

 

Poor JNH spent most of his career writing fine scores for crappy movies, specially in the sci-fi/fantasy genres: Crimes of Grindelwald, The Last Airbender, After Earth, The Postman...

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Personally, I am not remotely interested in Grindlewald Vs Dumbledore. I am way more interested in the four from the first film and the beasts. While I agree with you @bollemannekethat it does feel like two different stories, I disagree that Yates is a bad director and that overall the beasts or Newt are the problem. I think a lot of the issues lie with JKR and to an extent this need to make Fantastic Beasts another Franchise that has to tick off some boxes. As in:

  • We have to have a big overarching name to the franchise: Fantastic Beasts. This hurts the entire series, because now they all have to involve the beasts somehow. 
  • We have to have a consistent main hero character: Newt. Mistake #2. Not that Newt is a bad main character, but he's not the right main character for this series about Grindlewald's rise to power.

The first film isn't necessarily the issue. I actually very much like the first one. I think there is a much better focus to the story. I sort of view Fantastic Beasts as this adventure that is going on in the midst of a war. Yeah, the war is there and it's brewing in the background and it affects the characters off and on, but it's not the main part of the story. I was more in the mood for a fun adventure film about tracking down Beasts and that is what I got, with a taste of the war part. 

 

The second film, however, has a very split focus. Because of the Franchise checkboxes I mentioned above, I feel like they're now forcing themselves to shoehorn in beasts and Newt feels far more out of place in the CoG story. I think it's at this point where the problems start. The beasts are not an issue in the first film, because it's about Newt and his quest for his escaped Beasts at it's core.

 

The way I would've approached this would've been anthology films of some kind. Where we can tell stories of what is going on during this war and Grindlewald's rise to power. You don't have to have a consistent cast. The second film can just be called Crimes of Grindlewald. Maybe Newt shows up again when it makes sense down the line.

 

Alternatively, make some fun adventure films about the main four and ditch the Grindlewald stuff. No need to overcomplicate it. Something here is just not meshing well.

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5 hours ago, Edmilson said:

 Yeah, but unfortunately the Fantastic Beasts series is not as good as the Middle Earth movies or even the the Star Wars movies. 

 

Poor JNH spent most of his career writing fine scores for crappy movies, specially in the sci-fi/fantasy genres: Crimes of Grindelwald, The Last Airbender, After Earth, The Postman...

 

JNH is totally an under-appreciated soul. I first of all think he hasn't quite received the best opportunities in his career - equalling his talent. Or he hasn't had really big directors give him opportunities the way Williams, Elfman, Silvestri, Zimmer, Shore, Desplat got.

 

So he has remained a journeyman composer only moderate in fame and respect but I think he totally belongs with the all stars.

 

I think it is a straight scandal that even his pees in the music branch in the academy couldn't see fit to nominate his work in Fantastic Beasts. Maybe they did not give it enough attention in the film, or they didn't promote it properly or maybe he didn't present the music right - but it is absolutely outstanding music that should have won him a lot many fans. 

 

Eitherways, he's a GREAT composer and hopefully will get his oscar alongside all those other people. Though Silvestri hasn't had his oscar yet either.

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5 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Yates is NOT a bad director. By any possible stretch of the imagination. I think people are letting their impression from the writing trickle over to their impression of the directing.

 

I watched the movie. I couldn't make any sense of it, but Yates directing had an exuberence and flair to burn.

 

Honestly I agree in terms of thinking Crimes of Grindelwald was more inventively stylized than the first one, and some of his approach to the magic and spectacle actually made me wish his Potters had been more like it, along with the music. But yeah, in general the movie felt like hollow nonsense. 

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7 hours ago, TSMefford said:

Personally, I am not remotely interested in Grindlewald Vs Dumbledore. I am way more interested in the four from the first film and the beasts. While I agree with you @bollemannekethat it does feel like two different stories, I disagree that Yates is a bad director and that overall the beasts or Newt are the problem. I think a lot of the issues lie with JKR and to an extent this need to make Fantastic Beasts another Franchise that has to tick off some boxes. As in:

  • We have to have a big overarching name to the franchise: Fantastic Beasts. This hurts the entire series, because now they all have to involve the beasts somehow. 
  • We have to have a consistent main hero character: Newt. Mistake #2. Not that Newt is a bad main character, but he's not the right main character for this series about Grindlewald's rise to power.

The first film isn't necessarily the issue. I actually very much like the first one. I think there is a much better focus to the story. I sort of view Fantastic Beasts as this adventure that is going on in the midst of a war. Yeah, the war is there and it's brewing in the background and it affects the characters off and on, but it's not the main part of the story. I was more in the mood for a fun adventure film about tracking down Beasts and that is what I got, with a taste of the war part. 

 

The second film, however, has a very split focus. Because of the Franchise checkboxes I mentioned above, I feel like they're now forcing themselves to shoehorn in beasts and Newt feels far more out of place in the CoG story. I think it's at this point where the problems start. The beasts are not an issue in the first film, because it's about Newt and his quest for his escaped Beasts at it's core.

 

The way I would've approached this would've been anthology films of some kind. Where we can tell stories of what is going on during this war and Grindlewald's rise to power. You don't have to have a consistent cast. The second film can just be called Crimes of Grindlewald. Maybe Newt shows up again when it makes sense down the line.

 

Alternatively, make some fun adventure films about the main four and ditch the Grindlewald stuff. No need to overcomplicate it. Something here is just not meshing well.

Oh, I completely agree about the first movie. I kind of misposted, I thought the first one as a standalone movie worked perfectly and I'd be in favour of an anthology as well. Or just a Grindelwald saga without Newt.

 

And let the record show, for completeness sake, that Yates IS a bad director.

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2 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

And let the record show, for completeness sake, that Yates IS a bad director.

 

The man who directed the best Harry Potter film cannot, indeed isn't, a bad director.

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7 minutes ago, Holko said:

The extended scene in the middle with bland Newt blandly feeding these bland CG things in this bland world with a bland friend is where I gave up.

I have a déja vu from the recent discussion around just enjoying the world building effords of the director instead of complaining about lush stories around Avatar.

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1 hour ago, Yavar Moradi said:

.. Azkaban on the other hand... no other Potter film even comes close:

 

I found (at least on rewatch)The Order of the Phoenix much more moving than Azkaban.

 

Over the years, I've moved away from judging movies as an exercise in technique (blocking, structure, etc...) to a much more simple (and I would argue, much more meaningful) criterion. I watch a movie and then I ask one simple question: "What did I get out of this movie?" All of Azkaban's whimsy and camera inventiveness did not have the meaning that the climax of Order of the Phoenix did. Not even close.

 

This is to do with the story, but it also has to do with how Yates frames it.

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I think it's primarily because of the events of the story. Yates does a good job (except in pick of composer) but he certainly doesn't have the flare that elevates the material the same way Cuaron did. IMO.

 

Yavar

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I thought we were talking about directing though. If Cuaron had had an epic wizard battle and a major character death in his movie, I have no doubt he would have done it even better. Just as sure as I am that Williams would have scored it better than Hooper.

 

Yavar

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That's talking in hypotheticals.

 

As it is, I loved what Yates did with those sequences. It would not have been nearly as effective as it was were it not well-directed.

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A novel is a novel. A film is a film. A film is not a novel.

 

I think there has always been this lapse in film criticism - and this has been pointed out throughout history by various brilliant minds - of judging films on a literary basis. You almost get the sense that people are judging movies as stories or a piece of writing to the exclusion of everything else. 

 

Film absolutely is a medium of direction first. That is literally the point - it is a visual medium and that aspect of it cannot be divorced from film.

 

Now is it absolutely what a film should be judged on? No. There are films which I think have extraordinary direction which I yet did not like. (E.G. The Past (2013) or A Gentle Creature (2017) or maybe even The Revenant (2015)).

 

But I must say those instances are rare. I generally will give a film a good review if it is well directed, because it is doing what the medium is supposed to do.

 

Again, other things do come into play.

 

Now Azakaban is certainly well directed, but it does not reflect the pinnacle of Cuaron's directorial abilities - like Y Tu or Gravity or Roma or Children Of Men. The film-making is good but not blow your socks of good. I think some of that people attribute to the film based on Cuaron's later career. It is a better directed film that most or all others in the franchise.

 

But even I wouldn't call it my favorite. I think I like the first very first one and very last one more.

 

As for Phoenix, I think that's a terrible book with a terrible story. So they did what they could in the movie but I simply don't think it is a good or interesting story. So that is what that movie fails for me.

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7 minutes ago, TheUlyssesian said:

As for Phoenix, I think that's a terrible book with a terrible story. So they did what they could in the movie but I simply don't think it is a good or interesting story. So that is what that movie fails for me.

 

I can't remember quite where I stopped reading Harry Potter, but I'm sure it was prior (or somewhere during) Phoenix. So I'm not comparing it to a book: I'm just looking at the movie as a movie (as one should).

 

I wouldn't even have said it was my favourite when I first watched it. But then I'm a big proponent of delaying one's judgement of a film until one's seen the film a second time and sure enough...

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Azkaban had style but it fails miserablly as an adaption of the novel. 

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I disagree i would enjoy seeing the Wizarding world at war during WWII. 

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Rest assured, with Yates' penchant for sucking the life out of everything potentially interesting, it'll look just as lifeless, monochrome and dull as all his other action scenes. 

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33 minutes ago, JoeinAR said:

Azkaban had style but it fails miserablly as an adaption of the novel. 

 

I mean, I wish the Marauder's Map and the four friends in the past had been better covered, for those who hadn't read the book. But I honestly think that most if not all of the films leave out huge chunks of important things from the books, and book readers just mentally fill in the gaps while non-book readers may be slightly confused but aren't aware of what they're missing...

 

Yavar

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Not nearly as miserably as 4, 6 and 8. And they certainly made a lot more of an effort to make it into a movie than 1 and 2, basically just collections of book scenes without much flow - by now I think Azkaban is the only HP movie I really really like. It still kept to the core themes and emotional core very well. The Shrieking Shack scene already dumps a lot of info to grasp for a movie, them having been the ones who made the map and that stuff is kind of irrelevant. Maybe except for James' stag/Harry's patronus.

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21 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

 

I mean, I wish the Marauder's Map and the four friends in the past had been better covered, for those who hadn't read the book. But I honestly think that most if not all of the films leave out huge chunks of important things from the books, and book readers just mentally fill in the gaps while non-book readers may be slightly confused but aren't aware of what they're missing...

 

Yavar

Very true. But it was a part many of the book lovers really missed. Including it might feel like fan service but it created a plot hole that existed till the end of the series.  

 

It does not bother me as bad as the wand in DH2.

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