The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most successful of all-time, if not the most successful, spanning eight movies and nearly $8B in total box office. In short, every studio wants their own Harry Potter, but what if you're Warner Bros. and you already have access to it? How do you ensure a new 'Potter' series like J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them reaches the same heights? One way is by luring David Yates, director of four Harry Potter movies, back into the wizarding world.
Yates, who is currently directing another potential blockbuster in Tarzan, has agreed to helm Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This would be his fifth Harry Potter film after he took over with 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Rowling is writing the screenplay for what is expected to be a brand new trilogy taking place decades before the arrival of Harry Potter and centering on magizoologist Newt Scamander. The story, which begins in New York rather than London, will follow Scamander as he catalogs amazing creatures for the reference guide he's been commissioned to write.
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) had briefly circled the directing job but one has to believe Warner Bros. is more than happy with Yates. While the book doesn't include Harry, Ron, and Hermione, don't be surprised if they find a way to fit them in somehow, similar to what Peter Jackson did with The Hobbit films by bringing back the old cast. [THR]