Harry Potter director David Yates says Fantastic Beasts series is "parked" right now

Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Harry Potter's David Yates has opened up about the future of the Fantastic Beasts movies, and it's not looking good for Newt Scamander fans...

While promoting his upcoming Netflix thriller Pain Hustlers on the latest episode of the Inside Total Film podcast, the director got candid, explaining: "With Beasts, it's all just parked. We made those three movies, the last one through a pandemic, and it was enormous fun but it was tough. We were actually filming when there wasn't a vaccine. Thankfully, no one got sick, but we did have the most detailed protocols in place."

"We're all so proud of [Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore] and when it went out into the world, we just needed to sort of stop and pause, and take it easy," Yates continued, presumably referencing the sequel's negative reviews and disappointing box office takings.

The most recent flick in the franchise sees Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) try to become the Supreme Head of the International Confederation of Wizards, a position that would essentially make him king of all magical folk. 

Realizing how bad that would be for wizards and muggles alike, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) – not able to fight Grindelwald himself due to a Blood Oath – enlists the help of Newt (Eddie Redmayne) and his pals to thwart the dark wizard's plans.

While Total Film gave the third chapter three out of five stars, and somewhat politely described it as a "polished prequel in need of a shake-up", other critics were less impressed. As it stands, The Secrets of Dumbledore has a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 49% and is the lowest-grossing film in the Wizarding World franchise, having earned $407 million worldwide. (Its predecessor, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is rated just 36%).

Figures aside, the series is not without its controversies, either. Of course, first, there was the recasting of Johnny Depp, as Mikkelsen took over the role of Grindelwald. Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore, was arrested last year for disorderly conduct, and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling continues to face criticism over her comments regarding the trans community.

"The idea that there were going to be five films was a surprise to most of us," Yates went on. "Jo just mentioned it spontaneously, at a press screening once. No one had told us there were going to be five, we'd committed to the first one.

"I'm sure at some point, we'll be back. But yeah, I haven't spoken to Jo, I haven't spoken to [producer] David Heyman, I haven't spoken to Warner Bros; we're just taking a pause. It's quite nice. It allows me to do stuff like this."

Starring Emily Blunt and Chris Evans, Pain Hustlers centers on "a broke but ambitious single mother" who takes a job at a big pharmaceutical company out of desperation. Before long, though, she gets swept up in her newfound success and proves there aren't many things she won't do to remain at the top. Catherine O'Hara, Chloe Coleman, Jay Duplass, Brian d'Arcy James, and Jay Garcia also feature. It hits Netflix this Friday (October 27).

For more, check out our list of the most exciting upcoming movies heading our way. And to listen to the full interview with Yates, check out the latest episode of the Inside Total Film podcast.

Editor-in-Chief, Total Film

Jane Crowther is a contributing editor to Total Film magazine, having formerly been the longtime Editor, as well as serving as the Editor-in-Chief of the Film Group here at Future Plc, which covers Total Film, SFX, and numerous TV and women's interest brands. Jane is also the vice-chair of The Critics' Circle and a BAFTA member. You'll find Jane on GamesRadar+ exploring the biggest movies in the world and living up to her reputation as one of the most authoritative voices on film in the industry. 

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