If it feels like it has been a while since we heard anything about the Fantastic Beasts franchise, that’s because the series has been unofficially shelved for the time being. That’s according to David Yates, who directed all three movies in the prequel series as well as a large chunk of the Harry Potter films.
Speaking on the Inside Total Film podcast, Yates confirmed that there weren’t any plans for more Fantastic Beasts movies. Originally, there were going to be five movies to flesh out the Harry Potter world and put even more money into Warner Bros. coffers, though that fact wasn’t communicated to most of the crew. “The idea that there were going to be five films was a surprise to most of us,” Yates said, explaining that the cast and crew were originally signed on to the first movie without knowing the full commitment the series might require.
“With Beasts, it’s all just parked,” explained Yates when asked about the future of the franchise. The most recent Fantastic Beasts movie, 2022’s The Secrets of Dumbledore, was the lowest-grossing movie in the franchise. This was probably due to the film’s long delay because of the pandemic and a myriad of controversies surrounding it. Johnny Depp was removed from the role of Grindelwald shortly after production began due to his high-profile libel case and toxic separation from his wife. Meanwhile, series creator J.K. Rowling was using her platform to demean and attack trans people, creating a constant distraction while promoting the film.
With so much against it, it isn’t surprising that the Fantastic Beasts series seems to be on an extended hiatus, though it is strange that the director and cast weren’t aware of how many films were likely to be in the series when they signed up. It seems that Rowling independantly decided on that without communicating it to the people who would actually be making the movies, revealing it during the press tour for the first film.
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