Fantastic Beasts, a spinoff franchise to Harry Potter, failed on the front of its villain. Despite the fact that JK Rowling has been involved in the production of its two films, the creators of the franchise really failed to make Grindelwald as menacing as Voldemort.
Nevertheless, it is needless to say that the fans loved the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” It was sort of a comeback movie for the fans to the franchise they dearly loved. They bid adieu to the Harry Potter franchise in the year 2011 itself. Of course, it was quite an iconic conclusion with fans witnessing the tragedy of Severus Snape in the film “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.”
Then, in 2016, fans got excited again as they saw another saga unfold through the eyes of Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne).
However, the excitement fans had for the franchise quickly dried out in the second film because of the lack of a credible villain to challenge Newt Scamander. And we need to remind ourselves that Newt may only be the voice of the story, and the main protagonist may be the Hogwarts professor Albus Dumbledore. Nevertheless, it does not change the fact that Johnny Depp’s iteration, though quite charming on some fronts, failed to scare the audience as much as Voldemort did in the Harry Potter films.
Well, part of the reason lies in the fact that we do not yet know what he can really do, which was not the case with Voldemort. Of course, we know that he is a smart wizard with an affinity towards power and violence and a desire to enslave all muggles. However, at least on screen, we haven’t quite heard or seen what Grindelwald is really capable of.
Another reason why Grindelwald did not quite lift himself to the level of Voldemort is the fact that the audience has not been able to sort of relate with his journey, and that means that they have not been able to care for his intentions.
In the two Fantastic Beasts films, he has been just shown as the “cruel one.” There is no proper narrative as to why Newt Scamander and company should fear him. And as it has been noted by Screen Rant, the writers for the third film really need to dig deep into his psychology and bring out something that gives the audience the feeling that the guy is a real menace.
And the fact that we are seeing the events of the past (of the Harry Potter world) is another reason why the villain is not convincing. We sort of know what is going to happen, and that has made Grindelwald even less of a threat.
As things stand, the third Fantastic Beasts film will be released in July of 2022.