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Fantastic Beasts 4 Is Even Less Likely To Happen Now

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Warning: Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

While the franchise’s future has been in question since the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts 4 is even less likely to happen now since the movie may have just lost its director, David Yates. After multiple setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premiered on April 15, 2022. The latest Fantastic Beasts film shifted much of its focus away from the series’ original protagonist, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), to center on Albus Dumbledore’s (Jude Law) relationship with the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen).

The Fantastic Beasts film series was originally meant to include five movies, tracking Grindelwald’s rise to power and ultimate defeat by Dumbledore. However, just before the premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Warner Bros. reportedly announced that the production of Fantastic Beasts 4 would depend upon The Secrets of Dumbledore’s box office performance. Despite getting better reviews than Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Secrets of Dumbledore set the record for the worst opening weekend of any movie in the Harry Potter franchise, earning only $42 million domestically and $57 million internationally. In addition, The Secrets of Dumbledore’s ticket performance dropped by 67% during its second weekend in theaters.

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Related: Who Needs Fantastic Beasts 4?! Secrets Of Dumbledore Ends The Story

Based on these numbers, Fantastic Beasts 4 already seemed unlikely. The chances of another Fantastic Beasts movie have dropped even more, though, with the announcement that David Yates will direct the upcoming crime thriller, Pain Hustlers. Set to star Emily Blunt, Pain Hustlers will tell the story of a high school dropout who helps revitalize a failing pharmaceutical company, only to later learn that the company may be involved in a criminal conspiracy. Since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Yates has directed every Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movie, essentially tying him to the franchise’s future. With Yates signed on to direct Pain Hustlers, though, there may not be room in his schedule for Fantastic Beasts 4. Yates could direct Pain Hustlers in between Fantastic Beasts films, given that he directed The Legend of Tarzan just before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but this is doubtful at present, especially since there have been recent off-screen controversies and stories that also appear to be contributing to ending the Fantastic Beasts series.

Fantastic Beasts 4‘s existence has already been at risk due to multiple controversies surrounding the creation of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. The Wizarding World’s creator, J. K. Rowling, has sparked backlash for her comments about gender and the LGBTQ+ community on social media. In addition, Johnny Depp, who portrayed Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 1 and 2, was asked to resign due to domestic abuse allegations. This led to Grindelwald being recast as Mads Mikkelsen in The Secrets of Dumbledore. Most recently, Ezra Miller, who played Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore, has been arrested for disorderly conduct several times in Hawaii. As a result, this swell of negative publicity has already made Warner Bros. question continuing the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

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In addition, the ending of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore made Fantastic Beasts 4 somewhat unnecessary. The Secrets of Dumbledore resolved Credence’s mystery, confirming that he was Aurelius Dumbledore and revealing that he was Albus’ nephew through his brother Aberforth. The father and son were then able to reunite shortly before Aurelius’ death. Jacob Kowalski and Queenie Goldstein were finally reunited, ending The Secrets of Dumbledore with their wedding. In contrast, Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s connection was finally broken with the destruction of their blood pact, allowing the two to fight each other again. Although Grindelwald escaped, the Harry Potter series established that his final duel with Dumbledore took place in 1945, resulting in Dumbledore’s victory. In this way, The Secrets of Dumbledore wrapped up all of the biggest questions about Fantastic Beasts’ characters, creating a satisfying ending. With these completed storylines, various controversies, and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’s poor box office performance, David Yates’ commitment to direct Pain Hustlers only makes the production of Fantastic Beasts 4 less likely.

Next: Secrets Of Dumbledore Missed The Perfect Twist To Complete Jacob’s Story

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