With the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Warner Bros. is preparing to bid farewell to one of its most lucrative and longest running franchises. As expected, the studio is desperately trying to figure out how they’re going to fill the massive void left by Harry and his pals.
They might not be ready to give up on a Green Lantern sequel just yet, but the future of that series certainly doesn’t seem as stable as it once did. The same goes for Batman and Superman. The Caped Crusader’s cinematic adventures will assuredly carry on in some form, despite the fact that The Dark Knight Rises is being sold as the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. Whether it’s through a Justice League movie, a “reinvention”, or both – the fact remains that at this moment, there’s a lot that’s still up in the air.
As for the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel, rumors persist that Warner Bros. is still viewing director Zack Snyder as something of a wildcard. Considering how many times the property has burned them in the past, it’s understandable that they’re not putting all of their eggs in that particular basket.
The studio has several other irons in the fire at the moment – including a trilogy based on Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic novel The Stand and an adaptation of the Vertigo comic book Fables. According to Vulture, they’re hoping that David Yates (who directed the last four Harry Potter movies) will take the reins on one of those projects.
At first glance, both appear to be a rather natural fit for him. Yates has become fairly well-versed in adapting sprawling epics for the big screen – though there seems to be a debate amongst Potter fans over how successful he’s actually been at streamlining J.K. Rowling’s source material. Regardless, The Stand seems to have piqued his interest. He’s currently rereading King’s novel and will take the next two weeks to decide whether or not he wants to commit to directing it. Despite the fact that King himself doesn’t seem too optimistic about its chances, the studio clearly has a lot of faith in The Stand‘s potential. With The Dark Tower currently faltering a bit over at Universal, Warner Bros. may try to get their ambitious King adaptation out of the gate first.
If he passes on The Stand, Yates has first dibs on Fables – based on Bill Willingham’s acclaimed comic book series. It deals with iconic fairy tale characters who have been forced out of their worlds and travel into ours. Most of the stories take place in an underground community the characters form in New York called Fabletown. There was talk of turning Fables into a television series at some point, but the higher-ups have evidently decided it will work better as a film (perhaps because of NBC’s similarly-themed new show Grimm).
If Yates passes on Fables as well, he still has his pick of several other projects. He’s been developing an Al Capone biopic with the studio called Cicero and Tom Hardy recently attached himself to star. With Hardy gearing up to shoot Mad Max: Fury Road this spring, there may be some added urgency to get Cicero in front of cameras as soon as possible. Not surprisingly, there have been discussions about expanding that film into a trilogy as well. The first installment would detail Capone’s rise to power while subsequent entries would depict his growing influence in the underworld and his eventual downfall.
Not enough options? Fortunately, there’s still one more – an adaptation of Jonathan Tropper’s novel This Is Where I Leave You. The story revolves around a dysfunctional family forced to sit the seven days of Shiva together after the passing of a patriarch.
Warner Bros. also has plans that don’t include Yates – including the long-gestating Akira film and the 300 prequel 300: Battle of Artemisia. It’s clear, however, that Yates has made quite a name for himself – and he’s currently in the very enviable position of having a wide variety of films to choose from to help kick start his post-Potter career.
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