When Fantastic Beasts 3 May Finally Start Filming

Grindelwald looking around

The Harry Potter franchise is one that has been enthralling audiences for decades, and is showing no signs of slowing down. J.K. Rowling continues to expand the Wizarding World with the Cursed Child plays, theme park attractions, and Pottermore. Perhaps the most significant addition is the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which is a prequel to Harry's eventual tenure in Hogwarts. And it looks like we have an idea of when Fantastic Beasts 3 will start filming.

The Fantastic Beasts franchise got its sophomore run in theaters with 2018's The Crimes of Grindelwald, which set the stage for a Wizarding War. While the movie didn't fare as well as the original at the box office, the generations of Potterheads are eager for any indication of the threequel's arrival. A new update came to us from actor Dan Fogler, was quoted saying:

We haven’t started filming yet. We start in February. Last we heard, J.K. [Rowling] … she’s been writing furiously, everyone was really happy with what she submitted, and we’re all just waiting for the new script. And that’s where we’re at.

Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. Dan Fogler is expecting to reprise his role as Jacob Kowalski in February, when the highly anticipated Fantastic Beasts threequel starts filming. And that's only a few months away.

Dan Fogler's update on Fantastic Beasts 3 comes from his recent appearance at LeakyCon 2019 (via Comic Book). While there have been a variety of reports regarding when the threequel will finally start filming, Fogler seems confident in the current plans. Although it all depends on the writing of J.K. Rowling.

J.K. Rowling is the mind behind the Harry Potter franchise, and has personally been writing each installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. And it turns out that she's still very much involved in that process, despite The Crimes of Grindelwald going into production in just four months. But the iconic writer has also been known to plan out the big picture years in advance.

Smart money says things are going to get more dark and serious in Fantastic Beasts' third go in theaters. Jonny Depp's Gellert Grindelwald has ascended back into power, and we'll be able to see his true terrifying power in David Yates' threequel. While the first movie was a fun magical jaunt with tons of adorable creatures, the stakes continue to get higher as tensions grow within in the international magical community.

Related: Fantastic Beasts 3: What We Know So Far

The pressure is on for the third Fantastic Beasts movie to deliver, especially at the box office. J.K. Rowling has planned a five-film story, but Warner Bros. will want a bigger profit if the massive franchise is to continue. But as story becomes more connected with the settings and characters of the Harry Potter franchise, longtime fans will certainly be inclined to dead to theaters.

Jacob in Crimes of Grindelwald

Perhaps a reason why audiences failed to connect with The Crimes of Grindelwald was because of how much set up the sequel had to do. The true scope of the franchise was shown, as fans got knee deep into the Wizarding War that preceded any of the action set in Harry Potter. Johnny Depp's Grindelwald made a quick cameo in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but the character truly came into his own in the sequel. His escape from Azkaban showed just how powerful the dark wizard was, and the movie's runtime showcased how emotionally manipulative he could be as well.

The finale of The Crimes of Grindelwald was a bleak one, not dissimilar to Empire Strikes Back. Grindelwald only gained more power, and manipulating the Wizarding community to join him in a war against Muggles. Alison Sudol's Queenie Goldstein ultimately decided to join him, with her telepathic abilities now at his disposal. That's a powerful tool for such an expet

Also joining the Dark Wizard is Ezra Miller's Credence Barebone. The Obscurus-powered young had a morality struggle in The Crimes of Grindelwald, displaying empathy with Nagini. But he joined Grindelwald in his ring of fire, for the promise that he'd learn the truth about his lineage. The truth was a bombshell, and the biggest twist of the Fantastic Beasts franchise so far. Credence's real name is Aurelius Dumbledore, and he's Albus' brother.

This twist intimately connects the events of the Fantastic Beasts to Harry Potter, especially where Jude Law's Dumbledore is concerned. The beloved headmaster of Hogwarts already has a backstory mired in family conflict, and now it appears there's another surprising layer to that dynamic. While it's possible that Grindelwald was lying, the appearance of Credence's very own phoenix seemed to confirm its validity. After all, the magical birds are synonymous with the Dumbledore lineage.

As for Dan Fogler's Jacob, he's got the distinction of being the only non-magical leading character in the franchise. Still, he's gotten himself involved in the inner workings of the Wizarding World-- despite his memory being wiped at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts. The Crime of Grindelwald ended poorly for Jacob, who had to watch Queenie turn to the dark side. He'll presumably carry some guilt around this incident, especially as he called her crazy just moments before she passed over Grindelwald's blue flame.

It seems like just about anything could happen in Fantastic Beasts 3, as J.K. Rowling isn't a writer who avoid major plot twists. What's more, we still haven't seen Dumbledore and Grindelwald reunite on the big screen. Given their personal history and magical prowess, it should be an exciting showdown. Let's just hope it happens in the third movie, and not at a later date.

Whatever J.K. Rowlings' plans are for Fantastic Beasts 3, it's exciting to see that they'll come to fruition in just a few short months. The wait between installments can be excruciating, especially for a fandom as dedicated as Harry Potter fans. There are three more movies arriving in the current franchise, so Rowling could go seemingly anywhere with the upcoming blockbusters. As long as they continue to make money for the studio, that is.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently set to arrive in theaters on November 12th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.