As much as I enjoyed the Harry Potter films, there was something a bit strange about the way things played out over the decade of its run. The first two films felt a certain way, the second two films were completely different (including a revamped geography of Hogwarts), and then things got decidedly darker and more consistent in the last four films. Obviously the reason for that revolves around the change in directors. It wasn’t until the fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, that the studio finally seemed to find a contender to helm the rest of the series.
And so David Yates did. He directed films 5-8 of Harry Potter. Coming into Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first of a 5-film series, my first thought was whether or not we’d have the same revolving door. Thanks to a report from THR, it sounds like that wont’ be the case. According to the outlet, Yates is on board to direct all five of them.
Love or hate his style, there is something satisfying about a consistent, cohesive vision across the board. As much as I liked those Harry Potter films, I would have preferred that they at least be given a consistent cast and style, even if the change in tone was inevitable.
The director won’t be the only consistency between films, however.
THR also reported that Harry Potter author and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenwriter J.K. Rowling is planning to return for the other four films. In fact, as of the interview, she was “putting the finishing touches” on the second Fantastic Beasts script. Of the script, Yates stated it “feels so different from this [first film]. Much more haunting, like a dream. What she’s doing is really interesting; she’s not repeating herself.”
Given Rowling's track record, it's hard to believe the author/screenwriter can do any wrong. Believe it or not, Rowling’s first attempt at the script for the first film wasn’t perfect, recalled Yates:
“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 Jo [Rowling] took a left turn and it was right up my street: it was really intense and dark. Jo and I loved it, but [producers] 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 Jo 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.”
What we ultimately get on screen truly seems to be the result of a collaborative process, and as challenging as the experience was for Rowling, she’s always working to push herself beyond her comfort zone.
“I’m never complacent — I’m always feeling like I gotta do my best work, and I’m always pretty hard on myself. We’ve set ourselves an ambitious story to tell in five movies, but it’s going to be challenging and exciting — all the things I like.”
What do you think of this news? Are you excited to see Rowling and Yates on board to write and direct, respectively, for all five films? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on November 18, 2016.
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