Warner Brothers will not begin shooting Fantastic Beasts 3 on Monday, March 16 due to concerns over the coronavirus. Here’s everything we know about the movie’s development.
The Latest (March 15, 2020): Deadline is reporting that Fantastic Beasts 3 will not begin shooting tomorrow, March 16 as previously planned. Studios began halting production on their films late last week due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus, and now WB has followed in the footsteps of Disney by halting The Batman, King Richard, and the Fantastic Beasts threequel.
At this time we do not know when Fantastic Beasts 3 may start filming. With the movie slated for a November 2021 release, Warner Brothers still has plenty of time to shoot the movie and make the release date.
Other arms of the Wizarding World franchise have also hit pause on business in light of COVID-19: The Cursed Child’s Broadway, San Francisco, Germany, and Australian productions are temporarily closing, as are Universal Orlando and Hollywood, where three Wizarding World lands reside.
Previously… In November 2019, WizardingWorld.com announced that filming was set to begin in Spring 2020. They also confirmed for the first time that the film will be partially set in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The biggest surprise in their post was that the movie was being co-written by 7-time Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves. Though he served as a producer on the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, Fantastic Beasts 3 will be the first time he’s receiving a co-writing credit.
After Wizarding World’s announcement, Variety reported that WB execs were “high” on the script, and that the story will feature more Hogwarts and Dumbledore.
In April of 2019, Warner Brothers had announced Fantastic Beasts 3 will be released November 12, 2021, meaning there’ll be a three-year gap between Crimes of Grindelwald and the threequel. In addition, the start of production had been moved to Spring 2020. The film was previously expected to go into production in Summer 2019 and hit theaters November 2020.
The news came after Rowling was tasked with re-working the script amidst an overwhelming amount of negative reactions from both fans and critics. In a statement in April, WB acknowledged there were problems with Grindelwald.
“J.K. Rowling created an awe-inspiring universe that has captivated people of all ages, taking us on an extraordinary magical journey,” said Ron Sanders, WB President of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution and Home Entertainment. “Warner Bros. is so proud to be the cinematic home of the Wizarding World and is excited about the future of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise. We look forward to bringing the third chapter of the five-film series to audiences around the globe in November 2021.”
Toby Emmerich, Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group added, “We are incredibly excited about and have confidence in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ series. We all believe this release date will give the filmmakers time and space to allow their artistry to truly flourish and deliver the best possible film to our fans.”
How ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ was delayed
Shortly after announcing the Fantastic Beasts film series, WB had set dates for movies 2 and 3. Those dates were November 16, 2018 for Crimes of Grindelwald and a November 20, 2020 release date for Fantastic Beasts 3. At the time, WB only described the films being released on these dates as “Untitled WB Event” films. It was way too early to announce that these dates were for the Fantastic Beasts movies.
But anyone who closely follows franchises could easily see what was going on. The first Fantastic Beasts movie was slated for November 2016, and WB had claimed two more dates for “mystery” movies at the same time we were hearing the franchise would be a trilogy. The strategy reflected the one they employed for The Hobbit.
And while WB never announced Fantastic Beast 3’s release date, they kept their flag in that November 2020 date.
When The Crimes of Grindelwald hit theaters last November, the film was attacked by critics and a pretty large number of fans. People were confused by the plot and disappointed in the lack of any big developments in the movie (other than that Credence Barebone twist).
‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ went back to the drawing board after ‘Grindelwald’ reviews
Speaking with The Los Angeles Times in late February 2019, WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara admitted that Crimes of Grindelwald underperformed, and that the franchise has been challenging because they want to please both hardcore fans and casual moviegoers:
“The second film didn’t perform as well as the first, but I think we know what we need to do to get the third film hopefully even better than the first one,” he said. “And J.K. Rowling is really working hard now on that third script, and we’re going to get it right. She has an incredible vision of where she wants to go with this that is incredibly exciting.”
Concerning how to please both types of fans, he said, “The hardest part of the franchise is you have such a big core fan base. That fan base really knows the lore and they want to go deep into these characters. But what you don’t want to do is intimidate people. You want to be able to create a stand-alone movie that’s enjoyable for someone who isn’t steeped in the lore.”
He seems to believe that hardcore fans liked how much info was packed into Fantastic Beasts 3, but I believe that hypothesis is wrong. No one, no matter how big a fan they are, wants to be overwhelmed with information in a short amount of time. That was one of the key issues with Grindelwald. While the information for this hardcore fan was interesting, the way it was presented was confusing.
Rowling originally finished the Fantastic Beasts 3 script in December, and judging by Tsujihara’s comments this week, it looks like she may’ve unexpectedly returned to it. That may explain why she’s been off Twitter for over a month.
‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ plot: What can we expect?
In a recent interview, Jacob actor Dan Fogler said that the movie has been delayed because of its size. He went so far as to call Fantastic Beasts 3 bigger than the first two movies combined.
As for the Fantastic Beasts 3 plot, Fogler also confirmed that part of the story will be set in Brazil. Last year we also learned that Jessica Williams’ character — an Ilvermorny professor — will have a larger role in the third movie, and that was confirmed by WizardingWorld.com in November 2019.
You might remember seeing her in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment with Flamel in The Crimes of Grindelwald. She appears to be a part of a group with Flamel and Dumbledore, who are organizing to fight Grindelwald (potentially the earliest version of the Order of the Phoenix). J.K. Rowling promises we’ll see her “true glory” in the third movie.
It’ll be interesting to see how much time we get to spend at the American Wizarding School since we learned about it before Fantastic Beasts 1 but never got to see it in the movie.
Speaking of schools, insiders say that the film will feature more Hogwarts, Dumbledore, and “breadcrumbs” for diehard fans.
That’s all that’s been shared about the movie so far. Fans can guess what else will happen in the Fantastic Beasts 3 plot based on what happened in the second movie: Dumbledore will probably try to destroy the Blood Pact, Jacob will try to save Queenie from her bad decision, and everyone will try to get Credence on their side.