Is the Fantastic Beasts movie series canceled?

The first Fantastic Beasts film was a success after it premiered on Nov. 18, 2016. Receiving both positive reviews and commercial success, the Harry Potter spinoff series and prequel grossed $814 million worldwide and even won an Academy Award.

However, after three films plagued by actor-related scandals, controversy surrounding creator J.K. Rowling, low ratings and audience criticism, it seems the Fantastic Beasts franchise will remain a trilogy.

Here's what we know...

Will There Be Any More Fantastic Beasts Movies?

According to Variety as of 2022, there are currently no active projects in the works at Warner Bros. related to Fantastic Beasts, or Harry Potter for that matter.

Variety also reports that no screenplay was ever in development for a fourth film and that it seems executives were waiting to see how Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore performed in theaters before moving forward with two more intended films. Though the film made $405.2 million at the box office, it marked the lowest opening for any film in the Wizarding World franchise.

The Harry Potter spinoff series is believed to have been stalled for good.

How Many Movies Was Fantastic Beasts Supposed to Have?

The Fantastic Beasts film franchise was originally supposed to include five films.

According to Wired, Rowling announced the initial plan for five films at a fan event in London back in 2016. At the time, Rowling confirmed that the original plan was to do a trilogy, but that the franchise had expanded to five movies total amid the success of the first film, 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The series was based on a fictional textbook, called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was featured in Rowling's Harry Potter books series. It was published as a real book in 2001.

Notably, Rowling was in charge of writing the screenplays for the first two films. For the third, The Secrets of Dumbledore, Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves co-wrote with Rowling in an attempt to capture the magic of the original Harry Potter films, according to Variety.

Due to the franchise's scarce original source material — the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book is only 128 pages — the films suffered from complaints of messy plot lines and a constantly changing history.

Why Was the Fantastic Beasts Series Canceled?

Though it's not fully confirmed if the series is completely dead, it certainly doesn't seem like any more Fantastic Beasts films will be made.

For starters, the third movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, had the lowest opening of any Wizarding World film.

Plus, the series has been plagued by a string of controversies surrounding some of its biggest stars, including its creator, J.K. Rowling.

Johnny Depp, who starred as villainous wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the first two films, exited the series after his much-publicized divorce from actress Amber Heard, which was followed by allegations of domestic violence. He was replaced by Mads Mikkelsen.

Meanwhile, Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore in the series, has made headlines for numerous arrests and increasingly troubling behavior. The actor has been accused of intimidation and harassment, as well as having protective orders placed on them in multiple cases.

Miller also made headlines after an altercation in Hawaii resulted in their arrest, as well as an incident in Iceland in 2020 where they appeared to choke a woman at a bar.

In October 2022, Miller pleaded not guilty to felony burglary. They are currently facing up to 26 years in prison, according to CBS News.

As for Rowling, her polarizing, problematic views regarding the transgender community have resulted in much of the original Potter cast denouncing her transphobic statements — including Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe — effectively dethroning her as a beloved children's author.

How Does the Fantastic Beasts Movie Series End?

***Spoilers below!***

The third and final film in the Fantastic Beasts series, 2022's The Secrets of Dumbledore, culminates in a battle between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald.

After declaring war on all Muggles, i.e. non-magic people, Grindelwald is thwarted by Vicência Santos (Maria Fernanda Cândido), Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). Dumbledore declines the role of Supreme Leader of the magical world, leaving the job to Santos. An angered Grindelwald then attempts to kill Credence, the illegitimate son of Aberforth Dumbledore, Albus' brother.

Credence is saved by the Dumbledores and a battle between Albus and Grindelwald ends in a stalemate. Grindelwald flees, leaving the others to a happy ending in which Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) marry, and Newt and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) finally reunite.

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