The “Fantastic Beasts” franchise is currently on hold at Warner Bros. Discovery and is no longer a priority according to director David Yates.

The first film raked in $811 million worldwide but the two after saw large drops of $648 million and $404 million respectively. The most recent third entry “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” nabbed far better reviews than the second film, but with a $200 million production budget the economics of the franchise aren’t working out.

Since that film’s release there’s been apparently no active discussions with Rowling or active development on a fourth film. Yates directed all three of the “Harry Potter” prequel spin-off films after his stint helming the last four ‘Potter’ movies.

This month his first post-Potter franchise project “Pain Hustlers” hits Netflix and the director is out promoting that. Talking to the Inside Total Film podcast, Yates says ‘Beasts’ is officially on hold:

“With Beasts for a minute, it’s all just parked. We got to the end of [the third film, 2020’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore] and we’re all so proud of that movie, and when it went out into the world, we just needed to sort of stop and pause, and take it easy.”

In a far more surprising revelation, Yates revealed that the overly ambitious five-film blueprint for the franchise was not the idea of the studio at all – rather it was author J.K. Rowling who caught everyone off-guard.

He indicates the franchise was originally proposed and then green-lit as a three-film series, but Rowling took her own initiative and announced the film series would be a five-story saga without reportedly informing the creative team beforehand:

“The idea that there were going to be five films was a total surprise to most of us. She just mentioned it spontaneously, at a press screening once. We were presenting some clips of FB1. We’d all signed up for FB1, very enthusiastically. And Jo, bless her, came on … and said, Oh, by the way, there’s five of them.’ We all looked at each other — because no one had told us there were going to be five. We’d committed to this one. So that was the first we’d heard of it.”

All three films are available digitally. For now, Warners is focused on rebooting the franchise with a lavish TV series adaptation of the books planned for Max.

The post “Fantastic Beasts” Films Have Been ‘Parked’ appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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