Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts 3 has been given a new July 2022 release date following the news that Johnny Depp will exit the franchise.
Warner Bros. has officially scheduled Fantastic Beasts 3 for release in July 2022. Following the massive success of the Harry Potter franchise, Warner Bros. sought to partner with author J.K. Rowling on new projects set within the Wizarding World. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on a fictional textbook used by Hogwarts students, premiered in 2016 and kicked off a new five-film franchise. Starring Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander, the Fantastic Beasts series acts as a prequel to the Harry Potter films.
The second Fantastic Beasts debuted in 2018, but progress has been slower on the third installment. Fantastic Beasts 3 was once planned for release in November 2021 to accommodate script changes after the poor reception to 2018's The Crimes of Grindelwald. Production was slated to begin earlier this year, but the coronavirus pandemic pushed the start of filming until the fall. Further complicating matters is last week's news that Johnny Depp, who played dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, will exit the franchise, thus pushing Fantastic Beasts 3 back again.
Warner Bros. officially delayed the film several days ago, and now Variety reports Fantastic Beasts 3 has officially been given a new release date: July 15, 2022. The film is still in production now, and they are in the midst of recasting Depp's role.It's been said Depp's departure won't alter the production timeline too much. It remains to be seen when his replacement will be announced.
While the first two Fantastic Beasts movies were released in November, this will mark the first time the spin-off series ventures into summer territory. By moving to July, Fantastic Beasts 3 will return to a timeframe last used by some of the Harry Potter films. In fact, July 15, 2022 will mark eleven years to the day the final movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, was released in theaters. Whether this date will thus prove fruitful for Fantastic Beasts 3 remains to be seen, but Warner Bros. likely hopes it will. Though the first film was a moderate box office success, The Crimes of Grindelwald saw a notable dip in earnings that has made many question the profitability of future installments.
With a new release date set, all eyes will be on who gets chosen to be the next Grindelwald. Seeing as the franchise has drifted away from the titular beasts and is instead focusing on the brewing wizarding war against Grindelwald, it's certain he'll be playing a large role in the next three films. One popular choice is Colin Farrell, since he starred in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as Grindelwald while under the effects of the appearance-altering Polyjuice Potion. For now, though, it's all speculation, but it seems likely a new Grindelwald could be announced soon since production is currently underway on Fantastic Beasts 3. Fans will just have to wait and see who gets the part.