Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 2

Last week, after losing his libel case, Johnny Depp revealed that Warner Bros requested he step down from the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts film series, to which he agreed. That same day, the studio announced that Fantastic Beasts 3 would be delayed as a result. Following a weekend of not knowing what date the Wizarding World threequel would be moved to, official word’s come in that the movie will now drop in summer 2022.

Originally the plan was for Fantastic Beasts 3 to drop in November 2021, which made sense given that its predecessors also came out in the penultimate month of their respective years. However, rather than push Fantastic Beasts 3 an entire year, Warner Bros has decided to instead release it on July 15, 2022. This makes Fantastic Beasts 3 the first Wizarding World movie to come out in the summertime since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, which arrived on July 15, 2011.

While the current pandemic resulted in Fantastic Beasts 3 having to delay principal photography from March to September, it seemed like the project might possibly have still been ready in time for its original November release. However, Johnny Depp’s legal troubles have thrown an additional wrench into the works, as with his exit, the role of Gellert Grindelwald needs to be recast.

So while it’s a shame that Fantastic Beasts’ November streak has been broken, it’s understandable given the circumstances. But hey, it’s not like this is the first blockbuster franchise that’s shaken up its release schedule. For decades, the Star Wars movies were May releases, but once the film series was relaunched by Disney, with the exception of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the cinematic stories set in a galaxy far, far away became December offerings, and that’s not changing anytime soon.

For now, Fantastic Beasts 3 is still in the midst of filming, and we’ll just have to wait and see who replaces Johnny Depp as the new Gellert Grindelwald. Of course, this won’t be the first time that character has been played by a different actor. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Colin Farrell portrayed Grindelwald when he was disguised as Percival Graves. Plenty of folks have already suggested Farrell return to the role, but don’t rule out yet another new actor being brought in as the dark wizard.

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So far, no specific plot details for Fantastic Beasts 3 have been revealed yet, although some of the story will be set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One thing that is guaranteed is the return of plenty of familiar faces, with Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, Jude Law and Jessica Williams all reprising their respective roles. As with the last two Fantastic Beasts movies, David Yates is directing and J.K. Rowling worked on the screenplay, although this time around, the latter co-wrote with Steve Kloves.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on Fantastic Beasts 3’s progress. You can find out what other movies are supposed to hit the big screen next year with our 2021 release schedule.

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