David Yates to direct “Fantastic Beasts”, plus more news from Warner Bros. on the upcoming films!

With Warner Bros. having presented information to its investors at parent company Time Warner’s Investor Meeting this morning, we now know that David Yates will be directing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter films, was previously only in talks to direct Fantastic Beasts and will be joining producer David Heyman on the project. As the Hollywood Reporter writes,

Fantastic Beasts is a massive undertaking for [Warner Bros.], which is keen on keeping the magic of Potter alive beyond the initial eight-movie franchise, which grossed more than $7.6 billion worldwide. When announcing the Fantastic Beasts partnership with Rowling in September 2013, [Warner Bros.] said the property was being developed across video game, consumer product and digital initiative businesses.

Meanwhile, it has also been reported by /Film that Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has said that the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films will be “at least” a trilogy, with the release dates for the second and third films slated for 2018 and 2020, respectively.

From the official Time Warner press release:

The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

Although it is unknown what roles Kloves and Wigram will have in the filmmaking process, Kloves wrote the screenplays for all of the Harry Potter films except Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Wigram served as an executive producer for the last four films.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them currently has a release date of November 18, 2016.

Are you excited for these new developments? Will it make you more likely to see the film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!