Fantastic Beasts: Warner Bros. Reportedly Waiting on Performance of Secrets of Dumbledore Before Confirming Parts 4 and 5
While the on-screen adventures in the Wizarding World are meant to inspire hope and wonder among audiences, the behind-the-scenes exploits of the cast and crew have caused various controversies over the years, with a new report from Variety claiming that studio Warner Bros. is waiting to green-light the fourth and fifth film until they see how Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore performs. Given the open-ended nature of the conclusion to this most recent entry, it seems hard to believe the series would be scrapped entirely, but it's possible the plans for the franchise will be reevaluated to a certain degree before moving forward.
Variety points out, "There's speculation about whether or not Fantastic Beasts will complete its ambitions as a five-film franchise. At the moment, there's no screenplay for a fourth installment, sources have confirmed. Executives at Warner Bros. are waiting to see how The Secrets of Dumbledore is received before giving films four and five the greenlight."
The first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, drew backlash upon release, as the finale saw the reveal of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, with the actor being in the midst of claims of domestic abuse from former partner Amber Heard. Depp would go on to reprise his role in the film's sequel, though ultimately departed Secrets of Dumbledore, claiming it was a request by the studio.
Franchise creator J.K. Rowling, who has actually written the scripts for the Fantastic Beasts films, has regularly ignited controversy in recent years for comments she makes against the trans community. Series star Ezra Miller has also been involved in their fair share of public strife, due to a number of in-person altercations over the years, including being arrested days before The Secrets of Dumbledore's world premiere after allegedly assaulting a couple in Hawaii.
Currently, The Secrets of Dumbledore sits at 58% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is more promising than reactions regarding its predecessor, but still lower than all of the entries in the proper Harry Potter universe. If the box office performance also continues to dwindle, it's possible that the trajectory of the series could change drastically from what was originally announced.
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Wizarding World. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore hits theaters on April 15th.
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