While the Harry Potter franchise may have begun with a pair of lackluster movies directed by Chris Columbus, it truly took off when Alfonso Cuaron took over with the third movie, then hit greater heights when David Yates helmed the rest of the series. Yates put his visual stamp on J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World in such a way that he became the obvious choice to return for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and it looks like he'll be sticking around for the duration.
THR and Collider both have Yates confirming that he wants to direct the entire franchise, which recently expanded from three to five movies.
"You know, it’s lovely being part of it and I love doing it. How long will I stay with it? I’d like to say I want to stay with it for the whole thing. The only thing that makes my knees wobble a little bit is just the sheer volume. Five movies over eight years is a massive undertaking, so I have to be careful that I’m able to give everything. If there’s any point in that period where I go, “You know what, it might be wise to step away for a bit,” I would, to give someone else a shot. But you do become slightly proprietorial. On Potter, once I’d done one, I enjoyed it so much I felt I had to do another one. Then to finish it, I couldn’t let anyone finish it. I had to finish it. I was territorial. With this, especially as I’ve started it, I sort of… I don’t know … I feel committed to it."
It turns out Rowling, who wrote her first screenplay on the upcoming film, will also write the scripts for the sequels, which she says will span a total of 19 years. I guess that means a cameo by the boy wizard himself is out. The first movie takes place in 1926 New York and star Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander. We know further stories will be set in Europe and include the return of Albus Dumbledore. Johnny Depp has signed on to play Dumbledore's friend-turned-foe, Grindelwald.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens November 18th.