No offense to David Yates, who’s proven himself to be not just a highly competent filmmaker but the fifth highest-grossing director in the history of cinema, but at this stage of his career he’s pretty much “the Wizarding World guy” and little else.
Having made his feature debut on low budget British drama The Tichborne Claimant in 1998, he wouldn’t step back behind the camera on another movie for almost a decade. When he did, Yates found his comfort zone and then some, going on to helm the final four installments in the Harry Potter franchise, and the first three Fantastic Beasts prequels.
In between he made the perfectly acceptable The Legend of Tarzan, but with seven of his last eight films being Potter-adjacent, fans have been crying out for a fresh set of eyes to take over the series. That might be happening, or then again, a subtle nail may have been hammered into the coffin of Newt Scamander’s globetrotting adventures.
The Secrets of Dumbledore has so far earned a little over $350 million at the box office on a $200 million budget, with questions being raised over where things go from here. Fantastic Beasts 4 doesn’t have a script, or even an official green light to begin heading into pre-production, with Warner Bros. waiting to see what the lay of the land looks like when the dust settles.
However, it was recently announced that Yates would be making his first straightforward drama in over 20 years, with Emily Blunt set to star in Pain Hustlers. Provided shooting begins before the end of the year (which isn’t guaranteed), that’ll take up a huge chunk of the director’s time and effort, especially when he’s additionally producing through his Grey Matters banner.
Either Fantastic Beasts 4 finds a new director, spends years in limbo like its predecessor, or doesn’t happen at all, with Emily Blunt of all people potentially signalling the beginning of the end should the worst case scenario unfold.