Students share thoughts on upcoming Harry Potter sequel stage play


Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

Nearly 20 years ago, the world received its first taste of the wonderful and magical world of “Harry Potter.”  Now after seven books, three spin-off books, eight movies, a spin-off movie and an upcoming sequel stage play, it does not seem like series author J.K. Rowling is going to slow down any time soon.

But, after all this time and all of these productions, there have been instances in the books where the readers can see the magical world before “Potter,” but never in an explorative sense. In Rowling’s writings, only one short story online goes into the experiences of the Marauders (Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew), but now there is the new prequel movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” which explores the American wizarding world, set in 1926 America and following legendary magizoologist, Newt Scamander.

With the “Harry Potter” generation now in its adulthood, there didn’t appear to be much of a difference in the excitement or enjoyment that many had felt waiting in line for the next book to come out. Graduate student Vinny Cusato felt as though his enjoyment and fandom was wearing down.

“I love the ‘Harry Potter’ books, and I remember waiting for every release at midnight, and getting into the Gryffindor line just to get it before anyone else,” said Cusato. “And I will say I’m curious to see ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ but I just don’t know if she [Rowling] is sort of milking it at this point.”

Though he has reservations regarding the upcoming sequel, Cusato, in his mind, found an irresistibility to the idea of the film.

“I never read the spin-offs like ‘Beedle the Bard’ or ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ but still it’s Rowling,” said Cusato. “So really I am torn. Part of me doesn’t think that ‘Fantastic Beasts’ won’t stand up to ‘Harry Potter’ because it’s not Harry Potter’s story, but then again it is still Rowling behind it so who knows.”

This hesitant excitement was a trend that followed with sophomore Kevin Redline who, had a fair share of compliments and critiques about the movie.

“I think it should be really cool, I like that 1920’s era of history,” said Redline, “and the promotion pictures are visually striking, but I do agree with the main criticisms that people have.”

In regards to these criticisms, Redline notes that a majority of the cast is white, and lacking some form of ethnic or racial diversity.

“It has all white people,” said Redline, “and certainly the movie can do more, even with the racism of the time period. Also I have no clue what the plot is even about, there has not been much release of information regarding that so I will need to wait and see.”

Redline also shared thoughts similar to Cusato, on the longstanding history of the “Harry Potter” franchise and whether or not  this was another attempt to make more money from the “Harry Potter” name, or as a new venture for the series as a whole.

“I think that if they make it with a dedication to the wizarding world established in ‘Harry Potter’ it will be its own separate set of storylines,” Redline said, “but it just as likely runs the possibility of being a movie of ‘Harry Potter’ references that hundreds of thousands will still pay to see.”

Photo Credit: Scott Smith

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