Fantastic Beasts director David Yates says the Harry Potter spin-off prequel franchise is “parked”

Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise filmmaker David Yates says the spin-off prequel franchise is on pause.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, HBO Max, David Yates

According to filmmaker David Yates, the Fantastic Beasts film franchise is falling under a dark spell. Speaking with Total Film Magazine, the director of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts said the enchanted spin-off prequel franchise is “parked” after three movies. Initially, the plan involved making five Fantastic Beasts films. However, that no longer appears to be the case.

“With ‘Beasts,’ it’s all just parked,” Yates said. “We made those three movies, the last one through a pandemic, and it was enormous fun but it was tough. We were actually filming when there wasn’t a vaccine. Thankfully, no one got sick, but we did have the most detailed protocols in place.”

The three movies in the Fantastic Beasts film series include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), and The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022). While the first film in the series delighted fans, earning $812.5M worldwide, the third chapter only evoked $407M, signaling a significant dip in interest and dollars.

“We’re all so proud of [‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’] and when it went out into the world, we just needed to sort of stop and pause and take it easy,” Yates added.

In addition to saying the Fantastic Beasts series is “parked,” Yates said he was surprised to learn that the prequel series was promoted as a five-film endeavor. “The idea that there were going to be five films was a surprise to most of us,” Yates said. “Jo just mentioned it spontaneously, at a press screening once. No one had told us there were going to be five, we’d committed to the first one… I’m sure at some point, we’ll be back. But yeah, I haven’t spoken to Jo, I haven’t spoken to [producer] David Heyman, I haven’t spoken to Warner Bros; we’re just taking a pause. It’s quite nice. It allows me to do stuff like this.”

By “this,” Yates refers to his latest film, Pain Hustlers. The dramatic comedy starring Emily Blunt and Chris Evans is a new cautionary tale of breaking laws and business ethics in the pharmaceutical game for massive cash flows. Catherine O’Hara, Chloe Coleman, Jay Duplass, Brian d’Arcy James, Amit Shah, Aubrey Dollar, Willie Raysor, and Andy Garcia also star as primary cast members.

Here’s the official synopsis for Pain Hustlers:

“Liza Drake (Emily Blunt) is a blue-collar single mom who has just lost her job and is at the end of her rope. A chance meeting with pharmaceutical sales rep Pete Brenner (Chris Evans) puts her on an upwards trajectory economically but dubious path ethically as she becomes entangled in a dangerous racketeering scheme. Dealing with her increasingly unhinged boss (Andy Garcia), the worsening medical condition of her daughter (Chloe Coleman), and a growing awareness of the devastation the company is causing forces Liza to examine her choices. Pain Hustlers is a sharp and revealing look at what some people do out of desperation and others do out of greed. The film is directed by BAFTA award winner David Yates, produced by Lawrence Grey, and also starring Catherine O’Hara, Jay Duplass and Brian d’Arcy James.”

Are you upset to hear that the Fantastic Beasts film series is on pause? Is it strange that Yates didn’t know that WB hoped it would become a five-film franchise? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: Total Film Magazine

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.