Deleted Scene Dialogue: Theseus/Leta

MSNBC’s review of Crimes of Grindelwald by Ani Bundel,Harry Potter franchise’s new ‘Fantastic Beasts’ sequel should not have been written by J.K. Rowling,’ has the sub-heading “Nominally about the adventures of Newt Scamander and his American pals in Paris, the film is thwarted by its many subplots and cameos.” Oddly enough, an aside in the review suggests that Bundel saw a different cut than the one released to theaters — and that the version he saw, because it included a deleted scene of Theseus speaking with Leta about Newt and Dumbledore, has an easier to grasp subplot than the one we saw.

Movies don’t have the same luxurious amount of time, at least not giant blockbusters. The first “Fantastic Beasts” movie synopsis promised fans a small-time magical romp with a bumbling magizoologist and a pair of accidentally switched briefcases. What viewers got was a story that barely had time to establish those characters, or check to see if their foundations were solid, before Rowling blew down the wall for the reveal. It could have worked, had the series given the viewers more time to settle in.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” has this same problem. Nominally about the adventures of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his American pals in Paris, the film again has way too many subplots, asides and backstories. Dumbledore (Jude Law) is plotting his eventual fight with evil genius Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) from the shadows of Hogwarts. Newt’s older brother Theseus (Callum Turner) and his fiancé Leta LeStrange (Zoe Kravtiz) worry about Dumbledore secretly being in the pocket of Grindelwald and leading their beloved Newt towards danger.

I highlight that last sentence because I don’t remember this “worry” in my two viewings of the film or my several readings of the published-not-original screenplay.

We do know, though, that one of the many deleted scenes from the shooting script, the screenplay as written by Rowling and filmed by Yates, includes a conversation between Theseus and Leta at Hogwarts. What they were discussing, of course, we have not been told. 

Did MSNBC’s Bundel see this scene in a preliminary cut of the film? Has he told us they were discussing their concern that Albus’ “closer than brothers” relationship with Gellert might mean he was manipulating Newt to advance Grindelwald’s cause?

If so, that would make two mysteries dissolve.

We haven’t known why Leta was so hostile in her meeting with Dumbledore at Hogwarts, in which she is almost petulant with the DADA teacher everyone seems to admire. That conversation with Theseus, if they shared concerns about a turncoat Dumbledore would make her behavior logical. She loves Newt and Theseus and thinks Albus a threat of sorts to them both.

Albus tells Theseus point blank not to go to the Grindelwald secret meeting if Travers orders him to. He all but begs him, saying, “If you ever trusted me…” Theseus blows him off and goes to the meeting when Travers orders him to, however determined he is not to play into Grindelwald’s trap. Dumbledore knew about the meeting and the plan to have Theseus blow it up as Grindelwald wants via legilimency and seeing Travers’ intent. Albus sees Theseus’ distrust the same way.

We. of course, not being Legilimenses and not having the deleted scene with Leta and Theseus discussing Dumbledore as a possible agent of his best buddy Grindelwald, are clueless about what is going on — and left to lament the “many subplots” we cannot understand.

Why Ani Bundel was upset, when she got to see at least one important scene explaining a subplot that we all missed, I have no idea.

Click on the “leave a response” button up by the post title and let me know what you think. Did Bundel see an extra scene? Does that scene resolve mysteries the film has without it?

Hat tip to Wayne for the link to the MSNBC review!



  1. Molly Prewett says

    I went to an advanced screening of The Crimes of Grindelwald at a cinema in Chicago, about 2 weeks before the broad release. I talked to the manager, who claimed to have attended a screening 3 months prior to the advanced screening and saw a version that was 30 minutes longer than the one we all saw. Has anyone else heard of this?

  2. Kelly Loomis says

    I’ve heard the same claim from other people.

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