Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts May Have Finally Found Its Director

By Kelly West 2014-08-21 12:09:05discussion comments
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These days, David Yates is busy helming Warner Bros. anticipated Tarzan film, but he may be headed back to familiar territory as the director is reportedly in talks to helm the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

Citing unspecified sources, Variety says that David Yates, who directed four of the eight Harry Potter feature adaptations, is in negotiations to direct the first Fantastic Beasts film.

From the sound of it, in terms of Yates boarding the highly anticipated feature film, nothing is set in stone but Variety says "both sides are in negotiations."

After helming the last four Harry Potter films -- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 -- Yates returned to Warner Bros. for the mentioned Tarzan movie.

We learned last fall that J.K. Rowling was penning a screenplay to adapt her Harry Potter bonus book -- a mock textbook cataloging various magical beasts that exist in the Harry Potter universe -- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. The story is expected to pick up some seventy years before Harry Potter set foot in Hogwarts, and would follow fictional Fantastic Beasts author Newt Scamander during his exploration of the subject. Since then, we learned that the adaptation would actually be a trilogy, with the first part set to arrive in theaters November 2016.

There was talk of Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron possibly directing Fantastic Beasts, but that was later debunked. And we've been left to wait to see who might step up to tackle Beasts and bring J.K. Rowling's newest vision of this magical world to the big screen.

As a fan of the Harry Potter books first and foremost, I have mixed feelings about the movies in general, particularly as it relates to the final four films. After Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was my favorite of all of the movies. I was not nearly as much a fan of the final movie by comparison to the book. But it is promising to think that someone well familiar with the Harry Potter universe might be the one to revisit it, which would be the case for Yates. And as for expectations, beyond the high standard Rowling has set for her work, it's hard to compare hopes for Fantastic Beasts to the expectations book fans had for the Harry Potter movies. In the case of Fantastic Beasts, the source material is really limited, as it's not set up as a linear story, with the exception of a brief and relatively vague history of Newt Scamander's life and work.

But there is potential for a great story and plenty of reason to be excited about it, especially if it's really close to having a director. Once that's set in stone, we can start obsessing over casting.
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