The Harry Potter franchise is in a very challenging spot at the moment, due in large part to the rhetoric of author and creator J.K. Rowling. In addition to consumers taking issue with Rowling, it also appears as though the franchise is stuck in the mud at Warner Bros. Discovery, despite that fact that CEO David Zaslav admitted this week he wants to continue building the on-screen Wizarding World with Rowling.
According to a report from Variety, Warner Bros. Discovery currently doesn't have any Harry Potter or Wizarding World movies in any stage of development. The publication wrote on Thursday that there are "no active discussions" between Rowling and the company in regards to future films. That seems to include the ongoing Fantastic Beasts film series, which was supposed to have two more films.
There were supposed to be five Fantastic Beasts films in total, but The Secrets of Dumbledore appears to be the last one of the series, unless something changes at Warner Bros. The studio was reportedly waiting to see how the film performed at the box office before greenlighting the fifth and sixth installments. Secrets of Dumbledore made $405 million globally, which was a significantly lower total than the rest of the franchise.
This news may be disappointing to fans of the franchise, as the last Fantastic Beasts film had an open ending that left opportunities for more sequels. It also seemed to represent a righting of the ship for Fantastic Beasts, with Mads Mikkelsen taking over the role of Grindelwald from Johnny Depp and earning praise for his performance. With Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne still leading the way, it felt as though the franchise could have had more gas in the tank.
Warner Bros. Discovery is all about playing in the franchise sandbox, which mades the lack of any Harry Potter titles even more confusing. The Wizarding World represents one of the most recognizable intellectual properties Warner Bros. has at its disposal.