Spin-offs will almost always draw comparisons to the originals, there's simply no getting around that fact. However, just because two films take place in the same universe does not mean that their characters should be compared to one another. Actress Katherine Waterston has a big responsibility as the lead actress in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but she doesn't want you to draw comparisons between her and Emma Watson's Hermione Granger. Waterston said:
It never occurred to me to compare myself to her just because we're both female, in any way. You know, they're totally different characters and I don't feel like I'm stepping into her shoes simply because I'm a woman. It's just amazing to be a part of this world that means so much to people and I don't have any problem with considering it in that way. It just never occurred to me to think of it in those terms and probably it would make me nervous at the thought of it (laughs) because she was so good in those films. So, I just don't think about that.
During a recent interview with Collider, Katherine Waterston explained that she doesn't want fans to immediately draw comparisons between her character, Porpentina Goldstein, to Hermione Granger simply because they are both the lead female characters in Wizard World stories. Part of this has to do with the fact that they're simply two entirely different characters, and as such those comparisons don't necessarily work. To compare these two performances would do a disservice to both of the characters in the process.
Additionally there's the fact that Katherine Waterston has a deep reverence for what Emma Watson did with the role of Hermione, and as such she doesn't want to shoulder the weight of living up to someone else's performance. The only way to truly give a memorable and laudable performance in a spin-off film such as Fantastic Beasts is to completely separate oneself from what has come before. Comparisons like that only hinder a performer's ability to create.
Despite the fact that Fantastic Beasts very much takes place within the Harry Potter universe, it's abundantly clear that the film has already endeavored to stand on its own merit. Check out a trailer for the upcoming Wizard World adventure that premiered this year at San Diego Comic-Con:
The question of comparison is something that Katherine Waterston may still have to contend with well into the future. In addition to her role as Porpentina Goldstein in Fantastic Beasts, she's also going to carry the torch of strong female lead from the Alien franchise as well. Her character Daniels in Alien: Covenant is widely rumored to be the mother of Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley (although that hasn't been confirmed), so it seems likely that she will have to face these questions again when more information comes forward about that particular film. Perhaps we should take a cue from her work on Fantastic Beasts and try not to compare the two.
CinemaBlend will keep you up to date with all of the latest and greatest Fantastic Beasts news as it becomes available to us. The latest adventure in the Wizard World will hit theaters on November 18.