J.K. Rowling may have torpedoed her standing in the eyes of the Harry Potter fanbase after facing repeated accusations of transphobia, but that’s hardly going to stop Warner Bros. from continuing to monetize one of their most lucrative properties. Between Rowling’s comments and the firing of Johnny Depp from Fantastic Beasts 3, though, there’s arguably less interest in the franchise than ever before.
While Fantastic Beasts isn’t a total write-off just yet, the performance of next year’s third installment looks to be more important than ever. The critical and commercial response to The Crimes of Grindelwald was the worst the Wizarding World had ever experienced by quite some distance, and with the threat of a boycott from Depp’s supporters looming over the follow-up, the next prequel needs to deliver big time.
Indeed, committing to five mega budget blockbusters before the first one was even released was a bold move, and might yet turn out to be a foolish one on the studio’s part. However, there’s been constant speculation recently that the original Harry Potter cast could return in some form for a new movie, and the latest addition to the rumor mill claims that an adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is in the works and will require the involvement of several original cast members including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, with Warner Bros. presumably hoping that more familiar faces will arrest the backlash against Harry Potter.
As exciting as that is, this is far from the first time we’ve been told that the gang is potentially getting back together, so taking things with a hefty helping of salt would be advised until we hear more from WB, especially when they’ve been inviting pitches for HBO Max shows, which seems the more likely method of continuing the Wizarding World without having to convince the legacy players to return.