‘Harry Potter’ Director David Yates Returning for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

By August 21, 2014

A few months ago, rumors began to fly that Alfonso Cuaron – the man who took the Harry Potter films in a more adult direction with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – may return to helm Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Warner Bros.’ upcoming film set in the Potter universe. He ultimately passed on the project, but now it looks like another Potter vet is coming in instead: Variety reports that David Yates, who directed the last four movies in the franchise, will return to direct this new movie.

No deal has been made yet, but the outlet’s sources say that Yates has agreed to come back, so he’s currently negotiating a deal to direct. Fantastic Beasts, which will be neither a direct prequel nor sequel to the existing Potter movies, takes place in New York 70 years before Harry, Hermione, and Ron came along and follows the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander. J.K. Rowling herself will make her screenwriting debut on the first film, and the studio plans for this to be the first in a series of three “megamovies,” which seems to align with the release dates WB recently staked out for the next few years. At this point, it doesn’t seem likely that Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, or the rest of the original cast will be returning for any reason.

David Yates

Yates is obviously very familiar with this film universe, so it should be interesting to see how closely this hews to the movies he’s already made or how much he’ll want to separate it stylistically since it takes place in a different time period. He’ll be filming his Tarzan movie until November, so filming won’t get underway for this one until the end of the year at the earliest. No actors have been cast yet, but Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives in theaters on November 18th, 2016.

Are you looking forward to revisiting that universe?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.