My Loss of Interest in Harry Potter – Opinion Piece


Still from a movie that I will never see.

Gavin Clingham, Staff Writer

About two weeks ago, I was engaged in my usual hour of procrastination from my homework by watching YouTube. At that time, I saw an ad for the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise: Secrets of Dumbledore. The second I saw it, I felt my eyes roll and I was immediately shocked. I didn’t understand why I would be so disinterested in these kinds of films. I am a massive fan of the Harry Potter books, I love the movies, and I was even a pretty big fan of the first Fantastic Beasts movie. So then, as I wondered what could have happened, I led myself down a rabbit hole that brought up so many angry feelings towards this franchise. 

Also, just a quick disclaimer: this is not a review of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. In fact, this is my overall explanation as to why I saw two different movies over this bloated garbage. I did not even want to give my money to this film and ultimately be let down, so I saved my money. I understand that I’m making some pretty bold statements considering I sat through the entire After trilogy (hope to god that it stays as a trilogy). However, this franchise makes me angry in a new way. 

Still image of the negative reviews of Crimes of Grindelwald (

I think what angers me the most is how this franchise started. The first movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was honestly a really solid fantasy movie. What I loved the most about it was that it felt just different enough from the Harry Potter series while still continuing its story. I may not have had the strongest connection with the characters but I had a lot of fun with it. Then, two years after its release, we had Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald. Even though I was in eighth grade, which was the period of time when I liked nearly everything, I didn’t like it. It was so convoluted, overlong, and devoid of an actual purpose that I left the theater angry. The sole purpose of that movie was to get you to watch the next movie. I understand that a lot of films do that today, but this really failed for me because I felt like it wasn’t worth it at all. Avengers: Infinity War may have had a bleak ending, but it was such a crazy, fun, and entertaining ride. Dune: Part One didn’t quite come to a close but it attached me to the story, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One paved the way for the beginning of the end. Crimes of Grindelwald was just two hours of set-up and an absolutely boring failure of a final battle that felt like there was nothing. No real stakes, no tension, nothing. If I walk away from a film without feeling anything, it fails in a new way. Because no matter how I watch this movie, I’m giving it my time and money. I have to get something in return, but I truly got nothing. 

What makes it worse is that this franchise is stretching itself out way too far. For crying out loud, this was based on a fake textbook that was briefly mentioned in a book. It’s supposed to be about capturing mythical monsters in a suitcase, not about saving the world from annihilation. I believe that the Harry Potter franchise doesn’t have to stretch this big. We don’t need five movies to tell a story that we all know the ending of, and we don’t need there to be such large stakes. Newt Scamander is a magizoologist for crying out loud, not the “chosen one” to save the Wizarding World and the Muggle World. I believe that if the franchise is forced to continue, then it should not aim to be so big. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them works because it is different and the wizarding world has so many stories to tell. They could make a movie about the prison Azkaban, the Wizarding World in the perspective of muggles, the history of the triwizard tournament, or even a gritty and terrifying adaptation of the tale of the three brothers (I would do anything to make this film). Basically, there should be smaller stories now because we’ve literally had the biggest one come to a close 10 years ago. And personally, I don’t think it can get much bigger than that.

Still image of a story that I wanna see made into a film (

But I don’t even know if I feel comfortable with this, considering that the woman at the helm of all of this is J.K. Rowling. I remember laughing when J.K. Rowling kept claiming weird facts to be canon in the Wizarding World. While I guess it’s OK to go back and say Dumbledore was gay, I didn’t need to know that wizards used to poop on floors (I swear she actually said that). For a while, it felt like J.K. Rowling was trying to make more diverse changes to the Wizarding World to welcome the franchise to a new time, but then it started to become clear that it was only to make herself seem more inclusive. The facade began to crumble straight down on her when she began to make it apparent that she was aggressively transphobic. The worst part is that she’s never taken a beat or even stayed quiet about her transphobic beliefs. I’m pretty sure she would’ve kept a fair amount of people on her side if she just pretended like it never happened, but she doubled down. With even more debates, retweets, and even a defense essay which has basically become the “transphobic manifesto” (I got a massive headache trying to read it), she stayed firm in her beliefs. That’s pretty much why I don’t really like the idea of allowing J.K. Rowling to continue to profit off this franchise. No matter how much I want to direct a “Tale of the Three Brothers” horror movie (in my dreams), I don’t want to give her the platform to continue to spread hate. 

J.K. Rowling clarifying something that every Harry Potter fan wanted to know. (

So I really don’t want this new Fantastic Beasts franchise to have five movies. We’re barely halfway done with this franchise and I’m already so sick of it. It was a story that could not handle being stretched out as it was, but now it’s being stretched out more. That’s why I’ve literally felt disgusted seeing this film come out this month. I’ve just lost any interest in the Harry Potter franchise (not the original eight movies), and I want it to either stop, rethink itself, or boot J.K. Rowling out.