It may all be over for Harry Potter and the Wizarding World as fans know it, as shocking claims from Warner Bros. seemingly confirm the end of the franchise.
At one time, the Harry Potter series was the jewel in Warner Bros.’s crown. The story about the boy wizard, his journey to the magical Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and battle against Lord Voldemort first entered the pop culture sphere way back in 1997 when author JK Rowling released the first book in her novel series, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.
What followed was a best-selling book series and a movie franchise that brought in billions. The potential of the Wizarding World truly seemed endless, but over the last couple of years, the once sparkling Harry Potter enterprise has lost support from millions worldwide due to the continued controversy surrounding Rowling, as well as disputes around actors like Johnny Depp and Ezra Miller — both of whom star in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise, Fantastic Beasts.
JK Rowling has faced consistent backlash over the last few years after speaking about her views on sex, gender, and the transgender community. The controversy left her relatively shut out from her last venture with Warner Bros., the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts series, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), with the author becoming increasingly detached from the Wizarding World she carefully curated over the last two decades.
In addition to contention over Rowling’s views, the Fantastic Beasts franchise — which began with the David Yates-directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and introduced Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander — has faced both internal and external controversies. The internal coming from the story itself; the exploration into Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald’s (Johnny Depp/Mads Mikkelsen) past has been met with a lukewarm reception, as has Ezra Miller’s character, Credence Barebone, who was revealed to be a Dumbledore himself at the end of the second outing, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018).
And then there are the external problems of the Fantastic Beasts movie. Along with Rowling’s backlash, both Johnny Depp and Ezra Miller have and are facing controversies. The former was recently locked in a six-week defamation trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard — this came two years after Depp was forced to resign from the Fantastic Beasts series following Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse, leaving Mads Mikkelsen to take over the part. As for Miller, an actor who appears in both Warner Bros. DC Universe as Barry Allen AKA the Flash, and as Credence Barebone in the Harry Potter spinoff, they are facing continuous backlash for their reported erratic behavior and alleged illegal activities.
It hasn’t looked good for Fantastic Beasts for a while, and it seems Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav — who famously trashed a slew of movie projects upon his takeover of the studio — is reducing the franchise to, well, nothing.
A new report from Variety wrote:
There are no active discussions currently with Rowling about developing another “Harry Potter” movie, according to a source at the studio.
There is also currently nothing in “the Wizarding World” in active development at Warner Bros., inclusive of both the “Harry Potter” franchise and “Fantastic Beasts” IP.
It seems with actors on both sides of the Rowling argument like Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Warner Bros. Discovery isn’t committed to producing anything new for the Wizarding World. That being said, Zaslav did speak about the power of franchises for Warner Bros. in last week’s Q3 call. He acknowledged the financial weight of the DC and Harry Potter franchises and aims to wield that power worldwide. Zaslav went on to say:
“And a focus on the big movies that are loved, that are tentpoled, that people are going to leave early from dinner to go to see — and we have a lot of them. Batman, Superman, Aquaman, if we can do something with JK on ‘Harry Potter’ going forward, ‘Lord of the Rings,’ what are we doing with ‘Game of Thrones’? What are we doing with a lot of the big franchises that we have? We’re focused on franchises.”
So while the current Fantastic Beasts franchise is seemingly dead, there is hope for Harry Potter fans. However, Warner Bros.’s continued relationship with Rowling may do more harm than good for the movie studio. And as for those hoping to see the full story between Dumbledore and Grindelwald unfold, it seems that will be going no further.
What do you think of those comments about the Wizarding World? Let us know in the comments down below!