Harry Potter Director to Return for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Spinoff (EXCLUSIVE)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find

David Yates in talks to helm the first installment of J.K. Rowling's new Harry Potter-themed series

Harry Potter” filmmaker David Yates apparently has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Sources tell Variety that Yates, who directed several Harry Potter movies including the final “Deathly Hallows” pics, has agreed to return for the first installment of the Harry Potter spinoff trilogy “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

No deal has been made but insiders confirm both sides are in negotiations.

Warner Bros. had no comment on this story.

The studio announced the new Harry Potter series last September with J.K. Rowling, author of the global phenomenon, making her screenwriting debut.

Set in New York roughly seven decades before Harry Potter’s saga starts, “Fantastic Beasts” is based on the Hogwarts textbook of the same name and follows the adventures of its author, Newt Scamander.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling explained of the trilogy.

No actor has been cast for the lead role of Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist” in his early 20s, but it’s certainly one of the hottest parts in town.

Daniel Radcliffe, meanwhile, recently said he has no plans to reprise his Harry Potter role, adding that WB hadn’t approached him for the series.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” hits theaters Nov. 18, 2016.

A production schedule for “Beasts” has yet to be worked out. Yates, who also has a first-look deal with WB, is currently filming “Tarzan” until November.

According to sources, the studio had always wanted to approach a person who was familiar with the “Harry Potter” landscape and Yates, director of the last four films in the franchise, was a no brainer for WB. The move draws comparisons to other filmmakers like Peter Jackson returning for “The Hobbit” and Sam Mendes on “James Bond,” who, after insisting they were done with a certain franchise, ultimately came back to a piece of material they were comfortable tackling again.

The eight “Harry Potter” movies -– which began in 2001 and concluded in 2011 –- grossed more than $7 billion worldwide for Warner Bros., making it the highest grossing film franchise of all time.

The studio has already said “Fantastic Beasts” would be developed across the studio’s digital, consumer-products and gaming units, including links to Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Potter books.

Yates is repped by CAA.

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  1. Courtney says:

    I, for one, am excited about this. Avid Potter-head, always wanted more from the movie series and here is an answer without butchering the actual content of the storyline. WOO!

  2. Smith says:

    I wish this deal falls through. Yates is a pedestrian filmmaker. He just shoots the script without adding an artistic touch. He’s not good with dialogue, and his films are always awkwardly edited. It’s no wonder that the reaction on twitter from fans has mostly been disappointment.

  3. Andy Serkis says:

    Would have made more sense ,if Dumbledore’s life would have been captured on screen…his childhood was no less interesting than that of Harry and would have given glimpse of all great headmasters of Hogwarts. Instead they chose to go with a subject that’ll have multiple unnecessary VFX driven characters and less story. Makers tend to forget that, it was the story that made Harry potter such a draw, its complexity and emotion, with interwoven characters creating a dream land. Just a wish that this new series is not a bore ,as the new LOTR series, created out of greed, more than the need.

  4. Charles says:

    There is always so much fuss about directors and here is why their input is often overstated.
    The story , the plot; often is written by somebody else. Yes directors can make a hash of a good script but they cannot make a good movie from a bad script. All good directors choose carefully what they will direct and get all the credit on most occasions. So often when a movie is coming out we get: “from the director of…” “from the producers of…” Rant over.

  5. Orrine says:

    Oh no. I hoped that WB would find good director and new movies would do right what Yates screwed up, no there’s no hope for this movie. So so sad

  6. Brenna says:

    Well of course Daniel wouldn’t be approached to play Harry Potter again. Harry wasn’t in this book. I think this will be awesome!!

  7. Phil Ayling says:

    ” …neither a prequel nor a sequel…” yet somehow “money-grab” just doesn’t sound right, I guess.

  8. MoiMe says:

    Boring. I’ve had my fill of Harry Potter, enough to last me another 20 or so years.

  9. LOL says:

    Good grief: Has not Rowling made enough money, and inflicted the dumbing-down of adults on an international scale? Let it die. We need new ideas.

    • David English says:

      Will this be a stand alone movie or the first of a series, trilogy perhaps? Newt Scamander is an interesting character and, although I know this film will be set in NYC, he apparently circles the globe as a king of wizarding David Attenborough or Gerald Durrell. Another great brit in NYC at the same time was P.G. Wodehouse and I can see much fun involving Broadway musicals (involving magical beasts) and prohibition.

      There’s mention of his travels to five continents, so I can imagine 5 movies. And poor Newt travelled during the summer after doing tedious paperwork for the Ministry of Magic, which might provide a frame. I can see Nicholas Hoult playing the role. (That is, if it really is about a wizard in his 20s.) Maybe Jennifer Lawrence as the muggle love interest who uses American know-how to fend off magical beasts.

  10. Jacques Strappe says:

    Fantastic profits to be found at Warner Bros, for sure.

  11. You are a forever will be a wrong on everything. Just stop having opinions. They are not valid.

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