Warner Bros. Head Honcho Seemingly Distances Himself From Fantastic Beasts While Talking About Superman, Harry Potter Sequels

The Wizarding World has entertained audiences for decades, starting with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels and growing into a global multimedia phenomenon. We returned to the magical world with the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which serves as a prequel to Harry’s time at Hogwarts. Since the release of The Secrets of Dumbledore, fans have been wondering if the final two installments of the franchise were going to be completed. But a Warner Bros. head honcho seemingly distanced himself from the Fantastic Beasts while talking about Superman and Harry Potter sequels

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav recently spoke about the state of the company during the Q3 earnings call. Per a report by EW, he was asked about how content from the studio might be changing as a result of the recent merger. That’s when he spoke about an interest in more Harry Potter content, while also seemingly ignoring the Fantastic Beasts franchise entirely. Zaslav was quoted saying:

We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a Harry Potter movie in 15 years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits of Warner Bros. motion Pictures over the last 25 years. So a focus on the franchise — one of the big advantages that we have, House of the Dragon is an example of that, Game of Thrones, taking advantage of Sex and the City, Lord of the Rings, we still have the right to do Lord of the Rings movies. What are the movies that have brands that are understood and loved everywhere in the world?

Well, there you have it. While the TV and film industry is already leaning heavily on iconic properties, it seems like that’s exactly what Warner Bros. is going to focus on moving forward. But one has to wonder: will that sentiment mean that the final two Fantastic Beasts movies will actually be produced? Fingers (and wands) crossed.

David Zaslav’s comments are sure to get a strong reaction from the fans out there. His mention of a Superman movie comes shortly after it was revealed that a Man of Steel 2 movie is finally being developed starring Henry Cavill as the title character. And while Wizarding World fans are still waiting for word about the fate of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, the CEO of the studio seems to want to move forward with stories more closely connected to Harry Potter himself. 

While the first Fantastic Beasts movie was super successful, the first two sequels saw a downward trend in regards to both critical reception and box office performance. While J.K. Rowling and director David Yates were planning a five-film narrative, the lack of updates from the studio has been foreboding. Which is why David Zaslav’s comments are sure to turn so many heads. Later in the call he went in to speak about the importance of franchises, saying:

And so when you have a franchise movie, you can often make two to three times the amount of money that you make in the U.S., because you get a slot. And a focus on the big movies that are loved, that are tentpoled, that people are going to leave early from dinner to go to see — and we have a lot of them. Batman, Superman, Aquaman, if we can do something with J.K. [Rowling] on Harry Potter going forward, Lord of the Rings, what are we doing with Game of Thrones? What are we doing with a lot of the big franchises that we have? We're focused on franchises.

While the Lord of the Rings fans were treated to new content in the form of Amazon’s Rings of Power series, it sounds like Warner Bros. can still produce new movie installments. David Zaslav would seemingly like to see just that, along with more DC projects and continued Harry Potter collaboration with controversial author J.K. Rowling. Indeed, the studio reaffirmed its relationship with Rowling not long ago.

It remains to be seen if/when the Wizarding World will return to big screen, whether that’ll be Fantastic Beasts 4 or another project entirely. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.