In today’s not news news, Warner Bros. confirmed Fantastic Beasts 3, the third installment in the Harry Potter spinoff series, will being production in the spring of 2020. Originally, production was set to begin in July 2019 and then this fall. Presumably, the delay allows the team more time to get this third (of planned five) right. The Crimes of Grindewald undelivered on the success of the first Fantastic Beasts film to the point that the series future had seemed in doubt.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is still set to release on November 12, 2021. As the feature release schedule for November 2021 is light, it’s unclear why the film isn’t releasing over the Thanksgiving holiday later in the month, presumably building in a higher chance for opening weekend box office success. Maybe it’s to give FB3 the maximum window for longevity before James Cameron’s blue beasts of Avatar 2 slaughter the competition on December 19.
The other bit of news confirmed today is that Johnny Depp will return to reprise his role as big bad Grindewald, not to be confused with Clark Griswold, it being the holiday season and all. It’s a bit of a surprise given his performance as the dark wizard was largely panned by critics (or at least by me) … oh, and because his former spouse, actress Amber Heard, accused him of domestic abuse. While that case is still playing out, Warner Bros., Potter creator and author J.K. Rowling, and series Director David Yates have all remained supportive of Depp and his continued role in the Potterverse, so maybe it’s no surprise at all.
The rest of the Fantastic Beasts gang is also confirmed to return, including Newt Scallywag himself, Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudal, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, and Jessica Williams.