Will David Yates Direct All Five Fantastic Beasts Films?

Jude Law

Early on, in the opening stages of the Harry Potter franchise, the voice attached to the visual storytelling was shuffled. Chris Columbus helmed the first two adaptation of J.K. Rowling's novels. But after he left, varying filmmakers of different tastes and talents stepped in to take a crack at translating Rowling's text for the screen, giving us stories from Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell. Ever since 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, however, the same gatekeeper has been at the helm -- David Yates -- and his stewardship of Rowling's Wizarding World has extended into the first two Fantastic Beasts movies. So, when CinemaBlend ventured to England last year to visit the set of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we asked longtime producer David Heyman if he plans to have Yates direct all five planned Beasts movies, and he told us:

I think that it would be great to have David go all the way. You know what? Chris Columbus was so tired, couldn't do any more, and that's when we went to Alfonso [Cuaron]. Alfonso -- we like how Alfonso had done the fourth, but he was spent. So then we went to Mike Newell, who was spent on five. It's only David Yates who seems to have this boundless... I mean, I dearly would have him, but let's see. Let's see how he feels and, actually, let's see where the story goes. But my sense is that, if we're lucky enough to make more of these films, and the audience keeps coming, then, we'll see. Maybe, it will be David.

On one side, this makes sense. Having the same director work in tandem with Jo Rowling as she pens scripts, and producer David Heyman as he weighs in on casting, can maintain a streamlined vision for the world of Fantastic Beasts, especially as the core characters begin to share screen time with young Dumbledore (Jude Law), the evil Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) and several other unique individuals. Keeping David Yates on board for the duration of the series gives a needed stability.

David Yates directing Fantastic Beasts 2

And yet, part of the reason why Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite of THAT series was because it took Rowling's words and filtered them through a new lens -- that of Alfonso Cuaron -- and it might be exciting to see what a different storyteller might see in the world of Newt Scamander that would lead to a refreshed and rejuvenated story.

We're jumping the gun a tad. We haven't yet seen how different Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be from And Where To Find Them. For now, we only have this trailer:

What do you think? Should the Fantastic Beasts series keep David Yates, and maintain visual and creative stability? Or would you be curious about seeing a Fantastic Beasts movie with a different voice and perspective? Take a vote in the poll, then gear up for Yates' Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in theaters on November 16.

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Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.