J.K. Rowling has tantalised fans with hints on Twitter that her new film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, could end with the infamous battle between Albus Dumbledore and dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald.
One fan questioned why the new franchise has been split into five films, to which Rowling replied, "Our story starts in 1929 and ends in 1945. It's just too big to fit in one movie!" This particular response sparked instant analysis from fans of the series.
Many were quick to realise 1945 was the year Dumbledore defeated dark sorcerer Grindlewald in the original Harry Potter series. This led to a buzz of excitement, with people drawing conclusions about what lies ahead in the final film.
Fantastic Beasts director David Yates has already confirmed that he is searching for an actor to play Dumbledore in an upcoming sequel, which has further fuelled fans theories that the franchise will culminate in the great wizarding duel.
Rowling's tweet also encouraged many to discuss the wizards' potential involvement in World War II, considering 1945 was a significant date not only inthe wizarding world.
Another significant date is 1926, when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them begins since it's the year when Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) was born, which many believe is no coincidence. Fans hope the film series will also detail his rise to power and provide more detail than the mere flashbacks in the pensieve from the Potter films.
The 19-year timeline will also span the years in which Grindlewald planned wizards domination, and the downfall of muggles, aided by Dumbledore when the boys were close friends in their youth, prior to their great battle that concluded in the great wizarding war. (According to the Potter books, the friendship ended abruptly when a duel between the pair and Dumbledore's brother led to the death of Ariana Dumbledore, Albus's sister, leaving all three unsure of who killed her.)
The first instalment of the film series has millions worldwide debating many unanswered questions and plot twists within the film. Clues throughout the movie have left a buzz of activity surrounding the franchise. Rowling has since been bombarded with Twitter questions, and has deemed some worthy of cryptic yet informative responses.
Rowling confirmed what eagle-eyed fans suspected – that Fantastic Beasts protagonist, Newt Scamander, was wearing a Hufflepuff scarf during the movie – which has sparked speculation that the future four films will shift from the United States back to the United Kingdom, home of Hogwarts. This potential reappearance of familiarity has excited many, though they will have to wait until November 16, 2018, to see where Scamander's adventures take him.
Capitalising on the speculation, when asked about the long-debated topic of Dumbledore's sexuality in a press conference last week, screenwriter Rowling said we should, "...watch this space!" She also stated she was "delighted" about Johnny Depp's controversial casting as Grindlewald, claiming he did an excellent job of embodying the character, similarly to Eddie Redmayne's success as Scamander.
Despite all the fanfare, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was among the lowest grossing in the Harry Potter franchise on its debut weekend.
Similar to the first instalment of the Potter series, the movie earned $9.76 million on its opening weekend in Australia - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone made $9.25 million.
But Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 went on to gross $18.4 million in Australia alone on its opening weekend. So if Rowling brings back familiar characters in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, those figures look set to rise.