David Yates directed four of the Harry Potter movies before tackling Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. What inspired his return to the Potterverse?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is right around the corner—it hits theaters on November 18—and the hype is spilling over. Lately, a quote from director David Yates is making the rounds online. It’s actually from an on-set interview published months ago, but with all the anticipation, it’s worth revisiting.
Yates, as you probably know, directed four of the eight original Harry Potter movies: Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows Parts — 1 and 2. After all that, you might think he’d had his fill of the Potterverse. But the production lured him back for the new series, as he explained:
Well, they sent me the script and I wasn’t certain ’cause I’d spent six years here on those four Potter films, and they sent me the script and I was really nervous ’cause I had to really fall in love with it to come back. And I didn’t know if I could come back. And then, it was just the most delightful read. It was charming, moving, tender. It felt fresh and it was with a bunch of people that I really love working with so, it was a bit of a no-brainer.
Keep in mind that, despite having written several novels, J.K. Rowling had never written a movie script before penning Fantastic Beasts. That it ended up “charming, moving, [and] tender” bodes well for her career in Hollywood. (Not that it needed any help.)
In fact, I’d venture to guess that Rowling’s inexperience worked in her favor, as she wasn’t weighed down by arbitrary rules regarding what to do and what not to do when writing a screenplay. And with an old hand like Yates on hand to manage it, we could be in for something very special on November 18.
It’s also exciting because Yates will have more a chance to put his own stamp on the Fantastic Beasts movies. That was harder with the Harry Potter films, as fans already had an idea of what they should look like. We’ll know for sure soon.