The director has stated that the JK Rowling franchise, Fantastic Beasts, is currently on hold.

According to director David Yates, Warner Bros has put the Harry Potter spin-off prequel series Fantastic Beasts on hold.

During an interview on the Inside Total Film podcast, Yates, the director of all Wizarding World films since 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, expressed his pride in the upcoming 2022 film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. He also mentioned the importance of taking a break after its release.

He mentioned that filming the third installment of Fantastic Beasts during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic had been a challenging task.

“We have completed production on all of the Beast movies, including the last one which was filmed during a pandemic. It was a challenging but enjoyable experience,” the speaker stated.

“We were filming prior to the availability of a vaccine. Fortunately, no one fell ill, but we had extensive protocols in place.”

The international box office earnings for The Secrets of Dumbledore were only $407 million, while the first film in the franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), grossed $814 million, and the second film, The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), earned $654 million.

The franchise has faced controversy due to its cast and writer. JK Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter and sole screenwriter for the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, has been heavily criticized for her outspoken stance on transgender matters.

In 2020, Johnny Depp, known for portraying Grindelwald in the initial two Fantastic Beasts movies, was requested to step down from the series shortly after losing a defamation lawsuit against the Sun. The publication had labeled Depp as a “wife-beater” due to claims of domestic abuse made by his former spouse Amber Heard.

In 2022, a member of the franchise’s cast, Ezra Miller, gained attention for being arrested multiple times. Ultimately, Miller admitted to unlawful trespassing and shared that they were receiving treatment for complicated mental health problems.

Yates disclosed during the podcast that the franchise’s original plan of five films was not initially planned.

He stated that the fact that there would be five [Fantastic Beasts] movies came as a complete shock to many of us.

During a press screening, Jo mentioned spontaneously that there would be five Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. The group had all eagerly signed up for the first film, but were surprised when Jo revealed there would be five. This was the first time they had heard about it.

Yates, whose is now promoting his latest film, the Netflix opioid drama Pain Hustlers starring Emily Blunt, said that making The Secrets of Dumbledore was “a wonderful experience”, but he was relishing the opportunity to “pause” and pursue other projects.

“I haven’t had any conversations with Jo, David Heyman, or Warner Bros. We are simply taking a break, which is quite enjoyable.”

“I believe there is a possibility that we may return in the future, but it is uncertain as we have not had any extensive discussions at this time.”


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