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Debt-Ridden WB Abandoning Harry Potter Franchise as They Regret Keeping Ezra Miller But Kicking Johnny Depp Out – Says YouTuber ThatUmbrellaGuy

Debt-Ridden WB Abandoning Harry Potter Franchise as They Regret Keeping Ezra Miller But Kicking Johnny Depp Out - Says YouTuber ThatUmbrellaGuy

The Warner Bros. merger turned many heads in April last year, not only spelling a shift in focus towards franchises and ongoing negotiations but a complete makeover of the studio and its IPs on HBO Max. Among those left untouched (mostly) were Harry Potter and its spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts. But as 2022 came to a close, promises invoked earlier regarding the proliferation of the franchise were broken with no further announcements from David Zaslav.

The build-up of the events – from a promising future to a total ghosting – upon closer inspection has now found a cause to root its failure in. And what else can provide an all-encompassing reason to explain Zaslav’s sudden shift in priorities than the franchise’s two of the most risqué leads: Ezra Miller and Johnny Depp?

The Fantastic Beasts franchise dies down at WB
The Fantastic Beasts franchise dies down at WB

Also read: “You can often make 2 to 3x the amount of money”: Warner Brothers Allegedly Rebooting Harry Potter as They Want To Milk as Many Franchises as They Can

David Zaslav Retracts Promises on Harry Potter Prequels

Shortly after the ascension ceremony, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav announced the expansion of the Harry Potter franchise in the coming years and that it would be foolish to simply end the storyline of the beloved fantasy property that witnessed a brilliant 8-film run in the Noughties. A subsequent idea for a 5-part prequel film series was conceived, the future of which in turn depended entirely on the success of the then-upcoming Fantastic Beasts threequel, The Secrets of Dumbledore. 

Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 1
Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts

Also read: “We’re thinking what to do next”: Harry Potter Series Might Be in the Works at HBO Max as David Zaslav Seemingly Scraps Fantastic Beasts Movies

Considering how the grand finale bombed at the box office despite a decent earning, the studio and its enthusiastic chief began to scatter their collective focus elsewhere, effectively rendering the JK Rowling franchise inactive until further notice. Now, simmering in an indefinite limbo, all talks of the prequel series have been suspended with no known involvement from David Yates, the director of the adaptations.

Warner Bros. Complications: Ezra Miller and Johnny Depp

The inefficacy of a studio is compounded by the controversies surrounding its stars. In this case, the studio in question happens to be Warner Bros. whose luck has been consistently going sour over the past decade. As if the SnyderVerse fiasco wasn’t already enough to bring the studio to its knees, some of the biggest names in this century’s short-lived existence also happen to be its biggest troublemakers and all of them collectively snapped while they were still under the employment of Warner Bros.

The Flash
Ezra Miller as The Flash in Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Also read: Fantastic Beasts Franchise Reportedly Dead at Warner Brothers, David Zaslav Wants Cursed Child Adaptation as Last Ditch Effort To Save Harry Potter Franchise

With Ezra Miller leading the two biggest IPs of the studio: the Harry Potter spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts, and DC’s upcoming film, The Flash, it seemed impossible to shelve either one, especially as the latter is supposed to dictate the entire future of DC films. Keeping Miller’s contract intact was the smarter choice, irrespective of the volatile controversies surrounding them and their traipsing nuisance across the globe. A quick apology and removal from the public eye were supposed to do the trick of pacifying the increasingly hostile perception surrounding the actor.

But the same approach could not be applied to Johnny Depp, especially considering how he became radioactive after allegations of domestic abuse surfaced back in 2018. Amber Heard’s involvement with the Aquaman duology also became a point of contention in the years that followed and despite the public’s shifting opinion about the two, Warner Bros. distanced itself from the former couple, letting further outcries die down with time.

Does WB Regret Keeping Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts 3?

Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts
Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone in The Secrets of Dumbledore

Also read: “The audience is ready, they want to go”: Harry Potter TV Series Becomes More Realistic as WB TV CEO Wants to Revive Franchise in Post-Daniel Radcliffe Era

Youtuber ThatUmbrellaGuy aka TUG has tersely opined that the rehabilitation of Ezra Miller has allowed for renewed conversations” to take place between the studio and the actor regarding their future role within the industry. But despite the ongoing relative peace, the studio, suffering under building debt is planning a sale of their Fantastic Beasts IP to the highest bidder rather than opting for keeping them at HBO Max. This allows the studio to rehabilitate its reputation and according to TUG, this will only be made possible when Warner Bros. “starts removing piece by piece the parts that are the most controversial.”

The complete shunning of the Harry Potter IP is in order to “get it away from their brand,” and as such completely erase the smear of Miller’s controversies from the already flailing image of Warner Bros. The apparent ghosting” of the JK Rowling property at the moment seems like the only affable solution for the time being on the studio’s part.

Source: ThatUmbrellaGuy

Written by Diya Majumdar

It's 2023 and Diya Majumdar's social life is defined by a 365-day binge-marathon of films and television shows. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, she now has more than 1000 published articles on Fandomwire, and her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema. She happens to be a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh, and hardly anything fascinates her more than painting exact replicas of all their troubled works – in oil, of course.