Yesterday came the news that Steve Kloves, the writer who adapted all but one of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books to the screen, was coming back around to the franchise.
Kloves had served as producer only on the first two “Fantastic Beasts” films with Rowling herself handling the scripts for both films. The first of these launched in 2016 to decent reviews and solid box-office, but not on the same level as the main series. The second film, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” opened last year to outright negative reviews and disappointing grosses.
As Warners had made it clear a while back, these were just the first two of five planned films in the series and so there’s an understandable concern that the series isn’t working. A third film was supposed to film this Summer, but then shooting was delayed until Spring 2020 and the news yesterday was that Kloves had becoming more involved and had been working with Rowling to get the screenplay into shape.
Variety has more on that, indicating that the new film will serve as something of a course correction – taking the series back to more familiar Potter routes. As a result, Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore will take on more of a lead role and more of the film’s action will be set at Hogwarts.
They add Warners executives are reportedly “high on the script they’ve seen, believing it represents a big step forward in quality”. We also know the new film will take place partially in Rio de Janeiro, and that despite the issues the studio is still expecting to execute its five film plan for the saga.