The Fantastic Beasts franchise seems to be over!

London, UK - It looks like the magic has come to an end for the Harry Potter spin-off movie franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Warner Bros. is reportedly no longer planning on further Fantastic Beasts films.
Warner Bros. is reportedly no longer planning on further Fantastic Beasts films.  © Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO / Everett Collection

According to Variety, Warner Bros. seems to have called it a day on the franchise, as they are reportedly no longer planning on pursuing any further Fantastic Beasts films.

The prequel series first began with 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and earned two sequels: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) and The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022).

Eddie Redmayne has played the leading role of magizoologist Newt Scamander in all three entries, with Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol rounding out the ensemble.

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All Fantastic Beasts films were directed by David Yates, who directed the final four Potter films. Potter author J. K. Rowling co-wrote each film's script.

Rowling initially said there would be five films in total, but that plan appears to have been scrapped.

The Fantastic Beasts franchise has been marred by controversy

Fantastic Beasts actors Johnny Depp (l.) and Ezra Miller (r.) both faced public backlash while associated with the franchise.
Fantastic Beasts actors Johnny Depp (l.) and Ezra Miller (r.) both faced public backlash while associated with the franchise.  © collage: Noam Galai / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP, Craig Barritt / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The Fantastic Beasts series has been marred by controversy from the start.

In 2016, the casting of Johnny Depp as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald faced backlash from fans due to domestic abuse allegations. Rowling initially doubled down and confirmed that Warner Bros. was standing firm in the casting.

However, the 59-year-old was later asked to resign from the third film after a 2020 court ruling found the accusations against the Pirates of the Caribbean star to be substantially true.

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Mads Mikkelsen took over the role of Grindelwald for 2022's The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Ezra Miller, who portrayed Credence Barebone in the series, has faced seemingly endless legal trouble this year. The 30-year-old actor faces several disturbing allegations of grooming and assault as criminal charges of burglary and harassment.

Adding further fuel to the fire is J. K. Rowling, who remains closely involved with the franchise as a writer.

The author has faced consistent backlash for repeated comments on gender issues that many have deemed to be transphobic.

Warner Bros. may work with Rowling in the future

The disappointing reception to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore seems to have motivated the decision to end the franchise.
The disappointing reception to Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore seems to have motivated the decision to end the franchise.  © IMAGO / Picturelux

Though the films have been commercially successful in the past, the third installment saw a significant box office decline. The Secrets of Dumbledore also struggled to please critics, as it currently holds a disappointing score of 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Variety reported earlier this year that Warner Bros. executives were waiting to greenlight the fourth installment based on the performance of the third.

It now seems that the company wasn't happy with the film's performance, and it has subtly canceled plans to follow through on its original five-film promise.

Per Variety, Warner Bros. has no active developments for the Fantastic Beasts franchise, nor any active discussions with J. K. Rowling about other Wizarding World-related projects. However, the company has expressed interest in pursuing projects related to the original Harry Potter franchise outside of Fantastic Beasts.

On a recent investor's call, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav confirmed that they would be interested in working with Rowling on a Harry Potter-related project if the opportunity came along.

At least there's still some hope left for fans of the magical franchise!

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO / Everett Collection

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