DAVID Yates, director of four of the eight Harry Potter films, will direct the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a collaboration between Warner Bros. and Potter author J.K. Rowling.
Previously only in talks, Yates was confirmed as director for Fantastic Beasts, the first in a planned trilogy that will follow the adventures of Newt Scamander, author of the titular book, in 1930s New York City.
Warner Bros. CEO Keiji Tsujihara announced the news, along with projected release dates for the films at an investors’ meeting:
The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.
Capitalising on the staggering $7.6 billion that the Potter franchise made at the box office, Warner Bros. have apparently stumbled upon the proverbial “make-money-forever” machine. While we can’t really blame them for clinging to the golden goose, how long before the goose lays a box office turd?
Also announced at the same meeting were release dates for DC Universe films, including Part One and Two for the Justice League project, helmed by Zack Snyder:
…In a massive expansion of the Studio’s DC Entertainment-branded content, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema will release a slate of at least 10 movies—as well as stand-alone Batman and Superman films—from 2016 through 2020 that expands this prized universe of characters:
o “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
o “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
o “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
o “Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
o “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
o “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
o “Shazam” (2019)
o “Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
o “Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
o “Green Lantern” (2020)
The aggression of the announcement indicates Warner Bros.’ intention to challenge Marvel Studios’ domination of the superhero genre – the reboot of Green Lantern after the 2011 box-office disaster is certainly encouraging, but it rather feels like DC and Warner Bros. are riding Marvel’s coattails. Only time will tell.