The Harry Potter TV series is more mysterious than a Dumbledore monologue, but we now know one thing: it’s going to end David Yates’ stranglehold on the franchise. 16 years after he first walked through the gates of Hogwarts (do directors get the honor of a Thestral-drawn carriage?) he’s letting go of the Wizarding World.
Harry Potter has been Yates’ playground ever since Order of the Phoenix arrived in 2007. When you watch the Harry Potter movies in order after that point, it’s all Yates. He directed the final four Potter adventures, then returned for the Fantastic Beasts franchise so he could make even more new movies set in the Wizarding World. Sure, he loves storm clouds and the color brown a little too much, but he’s done a stellar job with the most epic of Potter adventures.
But having done all that, he says the time is now right to say goodbye to Hogwarts – for now, at least. “Do you know what? Honestly, I could not, in any conceivable way, get involved,” he told ComicBook.
Yates added: “I spent a long time at that school, in those corridors, and in those classrooms, and it was an exquisite experience and one I will always treasure. But to go back and do another year or two, for me, I feel I’ve left it.”
The director recently swapped Potter for the Netflix crime drama Pain Hustlers and said he currently finds more small-scale filmmaking “more compelling than going through the hallowed gates of Hogwarts.” We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one, David. Not many magic wands or dragons in Atlanta, as far as we know.
We don’t know when we’ll get to see the return to Hogwarts as the Harry Potter TV series release date remains secret. But we do know that the show will try a different spin on the books, with a whole new Harry Potter cast at the center – though we reckon there will be a cameo or two.
Yates said he thinks the new show will be “a challenge for everyone involved” but has high hopes that the series will bring our favorite Harry Potter characters back to screens in the right way. “It’s a very exciting enterprise, and I wish it well. It was an amazing experience for me, and I know the other filmmakers who were involved, and it will be for the next generation of filmmakers.”
Say what you like about Yates’ work – we certainly consider Half-Blood Prince to be a franchise low point – but he’s also given us some of the best movies set in the Wizarding World. The all-out magical carnage of the Potter finale stands among our favorite cinematic experiences, and people seem to have forgotten how much fun the first Fantastic Beasts movie was.
Speaking of which, what do Yates’ comments mean for the supposedly ongoing Beasts franchise? We’ve abandoned hope that the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date will be any time soon, but Yates seems to have washed his hands of the whole affair. Newt Scamander might have to spend a lot longer in cinematic Azkaban, it seems.
Having all said that it’s absolutely the right call to give the TV show a clean break from the past. If there’s any hope of this working, it needs to have its own identity, and that means letting go of the director who has shaped so much of the franchise’s visual style. With someone new and exciting at the helm, it definitely could be one of the best TV series around.
If you love the Potter world, find out more about the most devious Harry Potter villains and learn why Neville Longbottom could have a surprising connection to a Harry Potter baddie. We’ve also taken a bit of a swing at Yates (sorry, David) with our piece looking at one unforgivable choice in the Harry Potter finale.
Elsewhere, look ahead to the possible Harry Potter and the Cursed Child movie release date and find out about some completely different magic with our guide to House of the Dragon season 2.
The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, and Mermaids in the UK.