David Yates has confirmed he’ll be captain on the good ship ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ for the duration of the voyage.
The 52-year old British director was a seasoned veteran of short films and television (notably BBC series ‘State of Play’) when he made his feature debut on ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,’ then returned for the final three films of the series, making him the most prolific Harry Potter director.
As such, it was no great surprise that he would helm the upcoming Potter prequel, for which four sequels are planned – and now, Yates confirms that he plans to direct them all.
Yates tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I love making films, and I’ve got a great team, all of whom are like family,” and says he doesn’t find the long-term commitment intimidating: “I only look at it movie to movie.”
On top of which, the director confirms that Potter creator JK Rowling, having made her debut as a screenwriter on ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,’ also intends to script all four sequels, and is currently “putting the finishing touches” on the second installment.
Yates says Rowling’s as-yet untitled sequel “feels so different from this [first film]. Much more haunting, like a dream. What she’s doing is really interesting; she’s not repeating herself.”
Still, Yates stresses that Rowling’s first screenplay did receive some input from himself, as well as series producer Daniel Heyman and Steve Kloves, screenwriter of all but one of the existing Potter movies:
“The first draft was quite whimsical and lyrical, but it felt it didn’t have any heft and we weren’t sure what it was about. Then Jo took a left turn and it was right up my street: it was really intense and dark.
“Jo and I loved it, but David Heyman and Steve Kloves very wisely said, ‘Whoa, hang on guys, this needs to get some of the lightness back.’ It was after that dark second draft that Jo suddenly found the melody; then, she was away to the races. It was a struggle to keep up with her because she knew what it was: a balance between light and shade.”
Outside of the Potterverse, Yates also directed this summer’s ‘The Legend of Tarzan,’ which wound up one of 2016’s biggest box office flops. Not to worry though, as something tells us ‘Fantastic Beasts’ may fare just a little bit better…
‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’ opens in UK cinemas this coming Friday, 18 November.
Picture Credit: Warner Bros, WENN