Fantastic Beasts series ‘quietly dumped’ amid Ezra Miller and JK Rowling controversies

JK Rowling and Ezra Miller

The Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts has reportedly been cancelled.

According to Variety, there are currently no plans to produce any further instalments of the film franchise, despite its writer, JK Rowling, previously saying there would be five films in total.

The third instalment, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, released in April this year, became the lowest grossing film out of all the films in the Wizarding World franchise.

Its poor performance came amid poor reviews and several high-profile controversies – namely JK Rowling’s controversial comments on trans lives; and abuse allegations and other legal issues involving Ezra Miller, one of Fantastic Beasts’ leading stars; and allegations against former star Johnny Depp.

Miller has been accused of using “violence and intimidation” to manipulate an 18-year-old and harassing a mother and her non-binary child. In both cases, protective orders were issued against the actor.

As well as this, last month Miller pleaded not guilty to burglary after being accused of stealing alcohol from a neighbour’s house. They face up to 26 years in jail if convicted. 

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Ezra Miller
Ezra Miller has been accused of burglary, which they deny. (Getty/Pascal Le Segretain)

Meanwhile, JK Rowling has continually made headlines for her interventions on trans rights.

Just last month, she accused Nicola Sturgeon of being a “destroyer of women’s rights”, referencing the Scottish first minister’s support for reform of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) in the country.

The GRA reform would simplify the process by which trans people are able to change the gender marker on their birth certificate. 

Elsewhere, Johnny Depp was replaced for the third film after allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Depp denies the allegations, and won a US defamation case against Heard over her claims. In a separate UK case, it was found that Depp could accurately be described as a “wife-beater”.

While there are reportedly no plans for a new Fantastic Beasts film, the president and CEO of Warner Bros Discovery David Zaslav has not ruled out working with JK Rowling on ‘something’ Harry Potter-related in the future, as he said the films provided “a lot of the profits” for Warner Bros. Motion Pictures.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe recently doubled down on his decision to speak out in defence of trans people.

Radcliffe wrote a blog in 2020 for LGBT+ charity The Trevor Project, in which he said that “trans women are women” and that trans and non-binary people should be supported, following Rowling’s comments.

Daniel Radcliffe
Daniel Radcliffe has been a vocal supporter of trans rights. (Getty/Slaven Vlasic)

Speaking to IndieWire on 1 November, he said he felt he “needed to say something” because he has “met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that”. 

“And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important,” he added.