Warning: This post contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, so don’t touch your keyboard’s portkey if you don’t wish to travel any further!
It would be a difficult task to have a Magizoologist as the main protagonist in five movies that span 19 monumental years in the history of the wizarding world, a period when one of the most dangerous Dark Wizards of all time threatened the safety of the entire planet. Which is why J.K. Rowling suggested she probably isn’t going to have Newt Scamander lead all four Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequels. But if Eddie Redmayne‘s Newt won’t be filling that role, who might be a compelling enough character to have at the center of the future installments?
It’s a notion Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman confirmed in a chat with Cinemablend, noting that Newt Scamander would be at “the heart” of all the sequels. “I think he’ll be part—so will Tina, Queenie and Jacob—will be part of the next one,” he said.
This isn’t surprising news, considering what we know about the real villain of the movies, Gellert Grindelwald, and his history—how he terrorized Europe during the 1930s and 40s, before being defeated in 1945 by his former friend, Albus Dumbledore. The Fantastic Beasts movies will cover that exact time span, so keeping Newt as the main character throughout that entire period wouldn’t work, not without creating a history and place in it for Newt that would be entirely new, which might ring hollow with Harry Potter fans and feel forced with all audience goers.
But that means we need other characters to build these movies around, so here are some of our best bets at who might step into the lead roles of the future films—from the super obvious to the totally wild.
These movies will apparently end with him and Grindelwald’s famous duel, so at some point it seems reasonable to think that his reluctant journey into accepting that he was the only wizard capable of ending Grindelwald’s rise (he told Harry he avoided the confrontation for as long as possible) could and should take center stage at some point, even before their ultimate faceoff.
A young, conflicted Professor Dumbledore at the height of his powers would immediately have a connection with the Harry Potter audience, and would offer a compelling look at at the early life of someone we came to know and care about so much.
Tina and Queenie Goldstein
Tina’s role in the movies and Newt’s life are only going to get bigger (if you don’t know what happens between Tina and Newt you can look it up, but we’ll leave that spoiler out of here). She proved herself a worthy and important auror to MACUSA, which should boost her role in America’s larger than we expected role in dealing with Grindelwald.
That also means her protective and loving sister, the resourceful and lovable Queenie, could also take on a bigger part. We’re nine movies into the Harry Potter universe, and having a female lead (or leads) would offer a new and different—and dare we say it, necessary—dynamic to the story.
…Which is also why the head of the greatly compromised MACUSA is also a logical candidate to step into the lead role of one of the sequels. It was on her watch that Grindelwald infiltrated her very own office, and there’s no way she’ll avoid fallout from such a failure, one that risked the secrecy of the entire wizarding community.
Also, Ilvermorny, America’s revered wizarding school, seems primed to be a major location at some point in these movies, which means an American head of state will play an important part in what’s to come. The tough President Picquery would be a great character to base an entire film around.
WE WOULDN’T BET AGAINST THEM
Professor Dumbledore’s younger brother never truly forgave his brother for their younger sister Ariana’s death—which came about when the two brothers dueled against Grindelwald decades before the first film took place—but he also never stopped fighting for what was right, participating in both the great wars against Voldermort. A fringe character with a rich history and meaningful connections to the two men that this story will conclude with is exactly the type of character that would make for a compelling lead.
This one’s sorta cheating since they’ve already revealed that he’ll be a major character in the next installment. But five movies is a long time to have things go well for the good guys, so we have to imagine at some point Fantastic Beasts will have their Empire Strikes Back installment (if not multiple ones), so could Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald anchor a movie, where we see the war from the other side?
There are hints that Grindelwald wasn’t as purely and needlessly evil as Voldermort, that he was more of a Machiavellian “the ends justify the means” type of Dark Wizard, who didn’t kill unless he felt it served his motto, “the greater good.” Maybe they cast a big name in the part just for this kind of leading role responsibility. Grindelwald’s life is infamous, but there is much of it to be filled in, and we’d love to see one of the films told from the other side to mix it up.
Of course, if the big bad Grindelwald can lead a movie, why not the possibly (definitely) still alive but not nearly actually evil Credence Barebones, the troubled Obscurial that threatened the secrecy of wizards everywhere?
Ezra Miller is talented enough to play a protagonist in a big time movie (we think he’s going to be great in The Flash), and Credence is troubled enough and sympathetic enough that seeing his changing role in the world and his path to self-acceptance would be a story worth telling.
Not only would it be fascinating to see these events through the eyes of a magical historian, but Bathilda herself is an important player in the life of Grindelwald, her great nephew. It was she who he went to live with in Godric’s Hollow, where his friendship with Albus Dumbledore forever changed the wizarding world.
A movie told from her perspective would be a totally unique angle to experience one of these stories from, with a built in and logical reason for her to be so close and informed about the larger goings on.
The famous wand maker that Grindelwald stole the Elder Wand from—one of the three items that make up the Deathly Hallows—Gregorovitch is a minor character in the Harry Potter world, but obviously one that was very important during this time period.
Rowling’s written histories about wand makers in America hint at them being important going forward in the franchise, and even though he is European no wand maker is more important to this story than the man who possessed the Elder Wand before Grindelwald.
So that’s our list. The only omission that hurt us personally was not including a young, badass Minerva McGonagall, but she was born in 1935, and would only be 10 years old when the fifth movie ends. So while we might see her make an appearance, we doubt she’ll play any kind of meaningful role, let alone be in a leading one.
With four more films, set in an era of the magical community that threatened to ruin the worlds of wizards and Muggles alike, the possibilities are endless and exciting, and that’s why these films are far too big to only be Newt’s story.
But even though all of these characters could make for fantastic leads, we wouldn’t mine if a Niffler showed up in all of them. Because when it comes to the “beasts” part of these movies, only so many of them can carry a film.
Who did we leave out? Which character do you want to see in a leading role in the sequels? Cast your answers in the comments section below.
Images: Warner Bros. Studios