There are some significant changes happening over at Warner Bros. these days as the studio's latest acquisition takes place. So far, at DC project has already been canceled because the budget was too high. That seems like it might make sense, following the demand, but that doesn't make as much sense when it comes to Harry Potter. There has been nothing but dwindling interest and monetary gains in the Harry Potter series since the initial run of movies ended in 2011. They tried to recapture that magic again with the Fantastic Beasts series, but a bait and switch that has split the fanbase's interest have led to diminishing returns.
After rewrites and COVID delays, the posted budget for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is $200 million, but that's without marketing, and with said delays means, it's probably much higher. At the time of writing, the movie has only made $379 million worldwide. If that movie made money, it would be a surprise, and it wouldn't be by a large margin. With a company canceling an already cast DC project because a $75 million budget is too big, Harry Potter and all of it would be on the chopping block. That doesn't appear to be the case, according to a new profile in The Wall Street Journal.
At the same time, Mr. Zaslav is looking to make fresh "Harry Potter"-related content for HBO Max—Warner Bros. made all the wizarding franchise's movies—people familiar with his thinking said, and plans to meet with creator J.K. Rowling in the coming weeks to discuss the matter.
Does this mean we're getting more Fantastic Beasts specifically? Maybe, maybe not, the last movie ended in such a way that could justify ending the franchise there and never looking back. However, between the reputation of J.K. Rowling and the lack of interest in the movies, one has to wonder what kind of "fresh" content Warner Bros. could make for HBO Max that could entice people to come back. The numbers seem to be saying that no one is interested in Harry Potter right now, or at least not in the Potter content they are currently making and not the content that Rowling seems interested in making. She has complete control over that IP, and if she doesn't want something to happen, it's not going to, and no amount of Warner Bros. making grumpy faces will change that. We'll have to see what kind of fresh content, if any, Warner Bros. ends up coming up with for Harry Potter. Or if this current regime even lasts long enough to see this through.
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches, and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald's growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
The film features an ensemble cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law (Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, based upon a screenplay by J.K. Rowling. It was released on April 15, 2022.