Harry Potter Star Discusses Future Spin-Offs

Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts star, Eddie Redmayne revealed future spinoff movies are "not in the cards."

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

harry potter fantastic beasts

In many ways, the Harry Potter universe is in more trouble than ever before. Controversial statements by J.K. Rowling have turned everyone from her biggest fans to the stars of the movies (including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson) against her, and this has caused concerns about whether many people will end up purchasing the recently-released Hogwarts Legacy game. Now, there is even more reason to worry about the wizarding world of Harry Potter because Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne told NME in an interview that “there’s nothing that I’m aware of” and “it’s not something that’s on the cards” when it comes to future spinoff movies.

This is obviously a major letdown for Warner Bros. The original Harry Potter movies ended up being the ultimate cash cow (or maybe that should be a cash hippogriff?) for the studio, and they understandably wanted to keep the franchise going with their Fantastic Beasts spin-off films. And those movies had what sounded like a winning premise at the time: following the adventures of unassuming wizard Newt Scamander as he gets caught up in some of the formative events involving both the rise of Dumbledore and the fall of that wizard’s one-time lover turned ultimate nemesis Grindelwald.

And everything got off to a great start. When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out in 2016, it was a triple threat: a hit with critics, a hit with fans, and a hit at the box office. Part of what made the movie so successful is that it was basically a Harry Potter take on Pokémon, with Newt Scamander having to chase down and recapture the titular fantastic beasts that are running loose in America. However, subsequent movies ended up providing diminishing returns for the studio.

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The Harry Potter world expanded when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald came out in 2018, but this movie was the opposite of its predecessors. Critics and fans alike disliked it and having drama magnet Johnny Depp portraying Grindelwald didn’t help the series’ reputation.  However, that movie went on to earn over $654 million at the box office, becoming the tenth highest-grossing film of the year and making a sequel inevitable.

It looked like spinning the Harry Potter universe off with these Fantastic Beasts films was going to be a reliable investment for Warner Brothers, but the third film (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore) ended up breaking the streak in a very messy way. While audiences enjoyed the film much more than critics did, it went on to earn a little over $405 million on a budget of $200 million. When you account for the costs of marketing the movie, this probably made the studio very little profit, and they are likely very worried about the third movie making nearly $200 million less than the one before.

Much like Voldemort in Harry Potter, it’s possible that the Fantastic Beasts universe will come back in an unexpected way even if we never get a fourth film. HBO Max exec Sarah Aubrey has previously expressed an interest in doing something with the franchise, though she didn’t specify exactly what. It’s entirely possible we’ll see Newt and some of his friends in live-action television shows on HBO Max, possibly allowing the beleaguered streaming service to offer more familiar prestige television shows to help them battle their own Grindelwald: Disney+ and its seemingly endless array of Star Wars content.