Harry Potter between Past and Future
Fantastic Beasts and the complicated mission of being a father
It was 2001 when the first Harry Potter movie came out in cinemas. During these fifteen years, the magical world created by J. K. Rowling has become one of the most important tales of our time, and it appears that it is not yet finished.
A new movie is coming to cinemas, based on another book by Rowling: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It is set in 1920’s New York and the story follows the main character of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). Meanwhile, Harry has become a father, and in the theatrical show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, written by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, he has to understand the troubles of his son Albus, and maybe save the world again from the dark side.
Let’s have a closer look at these fifteen years and at where the “Harry Potter world” is headed now.
In 1997, producer David Heyman, was looking for a young adult novel to adapt into a movie, and his choice was the first book of the English writer Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. He bought the royalties for the book for one million pounds. The movie then collected 974 million dollars, becoming an immediate incredible success.
Chris Columbus was the director of the first and second movies, succeeded then by Alfonso Cuaròn, Mike Newell and David Yates. Every director brought his own personal style to the movies, whilst also following the growth of the main actors and their characters. Columbus, for example, excelled at creating a good experience for the younger children, while Mike Newell’s style was particularly appealing to teenagers. David Yates is the director of the last three movies. He created a darker atmosphere, putting great attention to the visual effects, but he also chose to remove several important plot points.
Yates is also the director of the new movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on another book by J. K. Rowling. This book is supposed to be a text used by the Hogwarts students for a subject called Care of Magical Creatures, and it is a sort of encyclopedia of all the fantastic animals. Instead, the movie is about Newt Scamander, the wizard who is the author of this book.
Scamander is a magizoologist, who travelled the world in search of magical creatures. In 1926, he arrives in New York City with a case full of magical creatures who escape and cause trouble to the North American Wizarding Government. Rowling, who wrote the movie too, has always loved the marginalized characters and, when talking about Newt, she said that he walks into a society he does not really understand.
This movie represents an original look at the wizarding world, set in another place and in another time, far from Hogwarts and without Harry as the main character. However, Harry’s adventures are not over and another original work shows what our hero is going to face this time.
In the theatrical show Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, there are two main characters: Albus (Harry’s son) and Scorpius (the son of Draco Malfoy). They become friends and they begin to travel in time, changing the past and causing terrible problems in the present. The playwrights, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, toy with the characters and put them in paradoxical circumstances, showing the conflicts between Harry and his son. Moreover, this show gives life again to another important character who helps Scorpius out of a terrible situation, saving the world from Voldemort.
In conclusion, Harry Potter is still a great success and, as with every classic, it will be a source of inspiration for a long time, in cinema, theatre, literature and in the collective consciousness of our “muggle” world.