Actor Eddie Redmayne has revealed that JK Rowling is still working on the Fantastic Beasts 3 script. The Wizarding World franchise has been struggling of late; popular and critical reception to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald wasn't particularly positive. It received a paltry 37% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and audience polling gave it a B+ CinemaScore.
Warner Bros. seems to be conducting something of a course-correction, and production has been continually pushed back. Until now, all reports had simply claimed Fantastic Beasts 3 needed additional prep time, with actor Dan Fogler suggesting the movie will be bigger than the first two combined. Now, though, star Redmayne has let slip the likely real reason.
Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival, Redmayne was asked for an update on Fantastic Beasts 3. He replied (via Cinema Blend):
Well, we're meant to start shooting in the beginning of next year. The script is still being worked on. That's nothing -- I'm literally giving you nothing! I'm trying to do that thing of talking about it and saying nothing, because of the fear of getting told off. But no, it's happening, and it's really exciting.
Amusingly, Redmayne may have been attempting to be secretive, but he's actually let a new detail slip. This is the first official confirmation that the script is being rewritten, and it suggests that Rowling may well have changed direction after Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's poor reception. Some Harry Potter fans took umbrage with aspects of The Crimes of Grindelwald that broke established continuity, particularly the inclusion of Hogwarts professor Minerva McGonagall, while Credence Barebone's true identity proved to be controversial. Rowling has always been deeply invested in fan culture, and she probably took these criticisms to heart.
This does, however, raise the disturbing possibility of further delays in production. Filming had originally been scheduled to begin in fall 2019, but has now been pushed back to spring 2020, presumably because Rowling is still working on the script. Although Rowling is an accomplished author, there have been occasions where she's struggled with deadlines due to writers' block; the novel Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was delayed time and again as she struggled to work on it. Fortunately for Rowling, after a number of missteps Warner Bros. appear to have learned the need for flexibility in terms of release dates. That's even the case with highly anticipated blockbusters; Wonder Woman 1984 was pushed back to June 2020, after having previously been moved up six weeks from December to November 2019.
Of course, the interesting question is just what changes Rowling is making to the script of Fantastic Beasts 3, and how they affect the overall Wizarding World franchise as a whole. The entire Fantastic Beasts saga is essentially a prequel, which means any course-corrections affect the Harry Potter canon as well. It'll be fascinating to see how this plays out.
Source: Cinema Blend
- Fantastic Beasts 3 (2021) release date: Nov 12, 2021