“Fantastic Beasts” Sequel Is ‘Darker, More Lyrical’

The first in a five-film series, the whimsical “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is probably the most young-skewing and lightest of what will be a five-film saga about the Wizarding World in a time long before Harry Potter.

Author J.K. Rowling will continue detailing the rise to power of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the next film which filmmaker David Yates is slated to direct. Speaking with ScreenSlam this week, Yates confirmed the production timeline of the follow-up and the overall tonal change:

“We’re in preproduction. We start shooting in July. That’s going to take me a couple of years – we’ll be back here in two years’ time presenting it. I’m excited about the next one. It’s very different to the first one. The next one is like a dream. It’s quite dark and interesting and lyrical, and very different to the first one. It’s a testament to Jo as a writer that she’s not repeating herself. She’s stretching for something that feels much more unusual, actually. So for me, as a filmmaker, that’s exciting.”

Yates also re-confirmed that although he’s not officially set to direct all five planned films in the series, he intends to see the series through to its end:

“I think I may. I don’t know yet. There such big endeavors, one can only look at one at a time, really. That’s what you have to do. I want to carry on working on them in some shape or form because I love the people I’m working with. It’s inspiring and exciting to be working with these people.”

Reviews for the film have been good, but not great and in line with the least well-received entries in the original ‘Potter’ saga. Box-office is similarly strong but not up there with the original Potter films – can the franchise make it through to a fifth film?