Finally, the third entry of the Fantastic Beasts franchise is making its way to cinemas. The Harry Potter spinoff, however, has been fighting an uphill battle as an onslaught of controversies may have ended up completely derailing the franchise’s future. What was originally envisioned as the third in five entries could end up becoming its final entry if its box office doesn’t prove to be what Warner Bros. was hoping to see with this franchise. In a new piece by Variety, it is revealed that the fourth entry hasn’t started work on its screenplay for the untitled fourth entry.
Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock referenced that this franchise was meant to be “their Star Wars franchise” but hasn’t been “behaving like one.” The second entry, The Crime of Grindelwald, was received poorly and ended up leading to the third entry getting postponed. COVID didn’t help matters, as it was further pushed back. Then the various controversies started piling on, such as Johnny Depp leaving the franchise due to the various allegations by Amber Heard. As production started, he was swiftly replaced by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.
Yet, that wasn’t all, as the creator of J.K. Rowling, who also worked on the screenplays of these films, was becoming quite the polarizing figure online due to her controversial views on sex and gender. Ann Sarnoff, who supervised the Wizard World franchise, recently also left ahead of the Discovery merger. Now, Ezra Miller has also been hit with various disorderly conduct and harassment suits, which continue to pile onto the controversy pile. The recent announcement that LGBTQ references were cut from The Secrets of Dumbledore for its Chinese release may just be the icing on the cake of controversies at this point. As it stands, it’s unclear what the future has in store for the Wizard World and if the Fantastic Beasts franchise will continue at all.