David Yates Confirms He Will Direct All Five ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Films
Fans love consistency. That’s part of what has made the Marvel Cinematic Universe such a hit: each movie has the same comfort level as our dogeared childhood copies of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novels. Even when the names behind the camera change, we can be assured of the same familiar faces, the same balance of humor and solemnity, the same polished veneer regardless of character. But while Marvel may choose to have multiple directors adhere to their famous house style, it seems that Warner Bros. has gone a different route with the Harry Potter universe: just have one person shoot the whole darn thing.
At Thursday’s world premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, David Yates and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling spoke to the media about partnering on the next generation of films in the franchise. As part of the interviews, Yates admitted that he had made a long-term commitment to Warner Bros., agreeing to direct all four of the Fantastic Beasts sequels. Here are the comments courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter (via ComingSoon.net):
I love making films, and I’ve got a great team, all of whom are like family. I only look at it movie to movie.
From the sound of things, Warner Bros. likes the results — both artistic and financial — of the last few Harry Potter movies and is willing to give the franchise over whole hog to Yates and his team. Perhaps more importantly, however, is the relationship between Yates and Rowling. As the author has slowly taken on the role of screenwriter for her own movies, the comfort level between the two artists has helped keep the films at the top of their game. Yates shared one story in particular of the collaborative process between the two:
The first draft was quite whimsical and lyrical, but it felt it didn’t have any heft and we weren’t sure what it was about. Then (Rowling) took a left turn and it was right up my street: it was really intense and dark. (Rowling) and I loved it, but David Heyman and Steve Kloves very wisely said, ‘Whoa, hang on guys, this needs to get some of the lightness back.’ It was after that dark second draft that (Rowling) suddenly found the melody; then, she was away to the races. It was a struggle to keep up with her because she knew what it was: a balance between light and shade.
Even if the idea of consistency between the films has you excited, it’s still kind of crazy to think of how much of the onscreen franchise has been shaped by Yates’ vision. By the time the series winds down in a decade or so, David Yates will have directed nine of the thirteen movies that take place in the Harry Potter universe. And we complain that George Lucas hung around too long!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on November 18, 2016.