Fantastic Beasts 3 is officially moving forward, with filming starting in Spring 2020. Five years after the final Harry Potter movie hit theaters, the Wizarding World returned to the big screen with 2016's prequel-spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And while the film was fairly successful across the board, its followup, The Crimes of Grindelwald, disappointed at the box office and was criticized for its clunky storytelling (among other things).
With plans for three more Fantastic Beasts already in motion, Warner Bros. responded to The Crimes of Grindelwald's disappointing turnout by pushing the as-yet untitled Fantastic Beasts 3 back a year from November 2020 to 2021, giving J.K. Rowling additional time to finish the script. The film's cast have been hinting at an early 2020 production start ever since, but now the news is official.
According to Deadline, Fantastic Beasts 3 will begin production in Spring 2020, with the regular cast returning (including, Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Johnny Depp). The site further reports that Jessica Williams will reprise her brief role from The Crimes of Grindelwald as Eulalie "Lally" Hicks (a professor from the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) in a far more substantial capacity in the third Fantastic Beasts, with director David Yates once again calling the shots.
In an intriguing development, Deadline confirms Fantastic Beasts 3 will shift the action to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after the first Fantastic Beasts took place in New York City circa 1927 and The Crimes of Grindelwald (mostly) unfolded in Paris some time after. Yates had previously confirmed the Fantastic Beasts movies will all take place in different cities, but this news nevertheless raises questions about why the film is headed to South America and how it may play into the larger story being told. The Crimes of Grindelwald ended with Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) telling Credence Barebones (Miller) what may or may not be the truth about his heritage - namely, he's Albus Dumbledore's (Law) long lost brother - and plotting to continue building up his dark forces. For whatever reasons, it seems his quest will require him to visit Brazil, bringing him and/or Credence face to face with not only the movies' main heroes, but possibly also Williams' witch along the way.
On a separate, but related note: Deadline's article further reveals that Rowling is writing the Fantastic Beasts 3 script with Steve Kloves. Those with good memories may recall that Kloves previously wrote seven of the eight Harry Potter films (with the exception of Order of the Phoenix), and was generally praised for his efforts in streamlining Rowling's massive novels into three-act movies. Seeing as one of the more common criticisms raised against The Crimes of Grindelwald was that it had a lot of interesting concepts, but was too jumbled to do justice by them, it's good to hear that Rowling is collaborating with a more experienced screenwriter on her next script. Hopefully, Fantastic Beasts 3's plot will be all the more cohesive and better than its predecessor's for it.
- Fantastic Beasts 3 (2021) release date: Nov 12, 2021