'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore' sidelines one of the franchise's main characters. Here's how their absence is explained away.
Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore."
The third prequel movie heavily reduces Katherine Waterston's role as Tina Goldstein.
The reason for Tina's absence is lame. It may be because of the actress publicly opposing J.K. Rowling's views.
"Fantastic Beasts" fans may be surprised that a main character has been reduced to nothing more than a glorified cameo in the franchise's third film.
If you were hoping to see more of Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) in "The Secrets of Dumbledore," you're likely in for disappointment.
Newt Scamander's (Eddie Redmayne) love interest, and the second lead in the franchise until this point, Goldstein sits on the sidelines for the majority of the new sequel.
Goldstein's absence is all the more frustrating because a pretty lame, unconvincing excuse is provided for her minimal screen time.
How Tina's absence in 'The Secrets of Dumbledore' is explained: She got a fancy job promotion
When non-magical human Jacob (a very humorous Dan Fogler) asks Newt about the film's massive elephant-in-the-room early in the film with a simple "What about Tina?", Newt provides a simple explanation.
"Tina's not available," Newt responds matter-of-factly.
He then clarifies that Tina has been made head of Aurors at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America) as if that should readily explain any confusion.
It's not clear why that would necessarily keep Tina completely out of the loop. If anything, you would think that may encourage Tina to be more invested than ever in trying to join Newt, Jacob, and the rest of the crew on their journey to try and stop Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) in the third film.
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An Auror is a law enforcement officer. If Grindelwald is putting the entire wizarding community in potential danger, wouldn't Tina and her Aurors be invested in stopping Grindelwald?
After all, Newt's brother, Theseus, is also an Auror, but for the British Ministry of Magic, and he plays a major role in "Secrets of Dumbledore."
Sure, Grindelwald is overseas in the third film, so this may technically be out of Tina's jurisdiction and Theseus is a more natural fit, but that doesn't seem like something that would keep Tina away if Newt's life was at stake. Newt's a talented Magizoologist, but Tina has to know she's the superior wizard out of the pair. (Newt gets knocked out by Credence so easily at the film's start that it seemed like he was killed for a moment.)
The film could've made a larger reveal that would've made Tina's absence make more sense: a pregnancy
Tina shows up as a photograph in Newt's "fantastic" suitcase full of beasts, replacing the photograph which previously showcased Leta Lestrange (Zoë Kravitz). Tina's biggest moment in the new film comes at its very end when she shows up at Jacob's bakery to meet Newt and the two attend Jacob's wedding to Tina's sister, Queenie (Alison Sudol).
Tina's absence throughout the sequel would've made more sense and been more forgiving if the character revealed she was pregnant at the film's end.
That would at least explain why she didn't want to put herself in immediate danger.
We know from "Harry Potter" lore that the two had a child at some point because of the existence of Newt's grandson, Rolf Scamander, who eventually married Potter's friend Luna Lovegood.
We also know from extended "Potter" lore that Newt has twin great-grandsons born to Rolf and Luna named Lorcan and Lysander.
Why Waterston's role is likely reduced: She's publicly opposed franchise creator J.K. Rowling's views on gender
For fans wondering why Tina's role is largely scaled back in "Secrets of Dumbledore," some have surmised Waterston's role was minimized after the actress publicly opposed franchise creator and "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling's views on transgender rights.
In June 2020, Waterston shared a Guardian article in an Instagram story, reading, "Trans women pose no threat to cis women, but we pose a threat to them if we make them outcasts."
According to The Independent, the actor underlined and circled a few quotes, including: "Sorry, you can't be a feminist if you're not for everyone's human rights, notably other women's human rights."
When asked in 2021 by the outlet why she shared the article, Waterston said it "felt important to communicate" her position given her association with the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise.
"One wondered if they might be grouped in with other people's views by association," Waterston told the outlet.
The film's credits note that the "Secrets of Dumbledore" script is based on an original screenplay by Rowling that was later reworked and cowritten by Rowling and "Harry Potter" movie franchise scriptwriter Steve Kloves, making it easy to wonder how much of Waterston's role may have been cut down and altered. Filming for the movie was initially expected to start in March 2020, before being pushed to a September 2020 start due to COVID-19.
Waterston appeared at the "Secrets of Dumbledore" premiere and was photographed with Redmayne. None of the film's stars were photographed with Rowling, who was also in attendance.
A representative for Warner Bros., the studio behind the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise, didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment regarding the reason for Waterston's minimal role in "Secrets of Dumbledore."
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