(The following article contains spoilers for Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them.)
Since it's release, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them has captured imaginations worldwide with its colorful, more positive spin on the Potterverse and its amazing array of creatures.
The film also takes us to grand new locations in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In fact, New York City is aguably one of the biggest stars of the show in Fantastic Beasts. The Big Apple was shown in all its glory from its skyline to the Central Park Zoo. (Check out some of the extraordinary city scenes in the video below.)
Along with the new American setting in this film came the chance to show the differences in the Wizarding World on the other side of the pond and expanding the Potterverse in this way is one of the most exciting aspects of the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
There are many locations that could expand this magical world we love in fantastic ways and while we wait to find out just where the upcoming sequels will take us, let's take a look at these five places the movies should visit and the rich storytelling potential such locations would bring with them.
If there is one setting Fantastic Beasts needs to visit more than any other, it's Ilvermorny which is the U.S. equivalent of Hogwarts. Locatec atop Mount Greylock in Massachusets, it's just a quick broom or train ride from where the events of the first movie took place.
Why would Newt and his friends go there? Possibly to seek out the help of the greatest living wizard himself, Albus Dumbledore!
Dumbledore is known to be a maverick and has had a falling out with the powers that be more than once during his life. We also know he taught Newt at Hogwarts.
What if Newt learned that his mentor had left after another disagreement to teach over the Atlantic? Or what if he traveled over to the U.S. after hearing that Gellert Grindlewald was being held at Ilvermory? Perhaps even to defend him!
Dumbledore is likely to be a key figure in the first sequel. After all, his closest friend has been captured. Dumbledore has been known to throw the rule book out of the window when it comes to those for whom he cares. We saw an example of this in Prisoner of Azkaban when he openly defied the Ministry Of Magic's laws and allowed Hermione's use of a time turner.
Much as Harry was later drawn to help Sirius at all costs, Albus may be drawn to try to help Gellert. If this were to happen there's potential for a double-cross and escape, allowing for a spectacular chase scene to take place throughout the school. Perhaps our heroes arrive just in time to save Dumbledore from arrest himself or Newt can somehow clear him of blame -- setting the rest of the film in motion as Albus, Newt and the gang head for Paris.
After this, we don't really need to see America again, as interesting as Hollywood could be, it's not essential and there are so many other great locations we need to see in the Potterverse.
Paris is already confirmed to be a featured location in the next movie and it offers a lot of scope for interesting story and action. Assuming Dumbledore is tasked with bringing Gellert in (check out the above video for one of the reasons this could be part of the story), and Credence is his best lead, it is likely Newt and his friends will tag along to help recruit him.
Tina and Queenie will of course relish being in romantic Paris with their new beaus, while Jacob will be in his element as a baker! Cue funny scene where he is being lauded for his Beast shaped wares while a real creature escapes and causes havoc in the Eiffel Tower's famed restaurant and we've got one entertaining story unfolding in the film.
Paris also allows for the return of Beauxbatons, we might not get to see the school itself, but there is bound to an ancestor of Fleur Delacourt or Madam Maxine who will appear. (I'd love to see an Andre The Giant Easter egg where her grandfather or father is a "giant" wrestler like Hagrid from whom they need to ask for help.)
If as deleted scenes show, Credence has indeed survived, then finding him may be both Grindlewald and Dumbledore's immediate goal.
Now more confident in his powers and fighting his dark urges, he could be blending in with the bourgeoisie as an "american in Paris", using magic to get by/build his power base and all this could also set up a scene in the Rowling version of the Moulin Rouge!
While the real place burned down before this movie is set, in the Potterverse there is bound to be a magical equivalent, like the Speakeasy in New York we saw in Fantastic Beasts or the British pubs like The Leaky Cauldron and others we've seen before. So it's logical there will be a set piece based on Paris' most notorious haunt.
Who wouldn't love to see Ewan McGregor as Dumbledore, chasing Credence through the Moulin Rouge and bumping into Nicole Kidman's Beauxbatons headmistress who had a thing for him?
Paris allows for an epic finale too, seeing the magical fireworks over the Seine with the Eiffel Tower in the background would be a great ending... especially if it's a dark ending.
One of the more cinematic places the series could visit is 1920's India. Still under control of The British Raj/Ministry Of Magic but home to Maharajahs, Satyrs, Jetti's and mysticism. This location would bring an intriguing landscape to the Potterverse, just as it did for the world of Indiana Jones in The Temple Of Doom.
India is also a place known for it's lush variety of wildlife, which allows more fantastic beasts to be discovered. Variations of Elephants, Tigers and Monkeys would all be exciting beasts for Newt to find while Dumbledore deals with an alliance between Gellert and an evil Maharajah/Wizard.
Indeed, if Dumbledore is to be the "action man" of the series, then here is where we could see him at his most swashbuckling. We need to see him fighting some monsters and overcoming the odds, just like Indy did in his second outing.
There is the opportunity for some fun riffs on Temple Of Doom here too. If Jacob is still there, his reaction to Indian cuisine would be funny, as would Newt's. There's the use of magic children as slave labor or a plot to resurrect Kali herself as evil schemes they could help prevent.
Also, places like the Taj Mahal could house India's version of The Ministry.
And then there's the wealth of Indian acting talent that could be brought into the film. We could easily see Bollywood's top stars getting involved in a musical dance scene.
This movie could really be a highlight of the series!
Australia is a perfect place for this franchise to visit as it could bring more fantastic beasts and mysticism to the Potterverse. What if Aboriginal people were the native wizards in this location who lost their land and their powers to others who took over?
What if Transportation was the Ministry's way of dealing with dark Wizards back then, sending them to a "prison country" with the dreaded Dementors making their first appearance to keep them in check!
We could find Grindlewald trying to consolidate his power there and recruiting dark wizards who have been sent there as criminals.
Sure it's dark, but at some point this series has to go a little darker.
Plus, the animals speak for themselves. Magical versions of Kangaroos, Wombats (although arguably we have that with the Nifter) and Koala's would all be great, and that's BEFORE we get to the Great Barrier Reef, where we could find an old magical creature who is in danger or even the source of all magic itself.
The Outback could be the last place that Newt is scared to visit or where a creature lives that he has failed to tame/learn about. The gang might need to seek out a Crocodile Dundee or Aboriginal tribe to help save the country from Grindlewald's plan.
There's a lot that could happen in the Potterverse version of the Land Down Under and it would be made even better with the addition of an Aussie cast. Sam Neill, Hugo Weaving, Nicole Kidman (From the Paris setting perhaps?), Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, and Margot Robbie would all be great as cameos or in major roles. I hope we get to see it!
Scandinavia/The North Pole
If Newt's suitcase is any indication of where he might go in the future, then it's safe to assume that somewhere cold and icy will be featured in one of the movies. One place that is notably cold and icy is Durmstrang, the school where Gellert Grindlewald studied, and by the final movie, his stronghold.
There there are lots of new snowbased creatures we could see in such a place and the idea of a magical version of the Battle Of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back at the Arctic Circle to end the Fantastic Beasts series is really exciting.
By the final movie, I'd expect some casualties, and while Newt himself survives -- we know that because he has a grandson who marries Luna -- but not everyone else is safe.
By that point in the franchise, the climax will probably pretty much be a straight fight between Albus and Gellert, perhaps with Credence as Newt's replacement in the middle who may have learned to control animals from Newt. Giant Penguins, Polar Bears and Walruses are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creatures we could see. Plus, there's a great opportunity for many wonderful actors who hail from the icy north that could join the cast. Mads Mikkelsen, Stellen Skarsgard, Alicia Vikander, Noomi Rapace and more would all easily fit into the "big finale" for the series that took place in this part of the world.
What locations would you like to see explored in the Fantastic Beats series?