Warner Bros. has been forced to pause filming on upcoming wizarding world sequel Fantastic Beasts 3 after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19. Filming has been underway in the United Kingdom, and in keeping with the new health and safety regulations that are now in place, production will likely have to be shut down for at least two weeks. The positive test result was discovered as part of routine safety protocols, and the crew member is now in isolation.
"A team member from Fantastic Beasts 3 has tested positive for COVID-19," a Warner Bros. spokesperson has said in a statement. "The diagnosis was confirmed as a result of required and ongoing testing that all production employees receive, and the team member is currently in isolation. Out of an abundance of caution, 'Fantastic Beasts 3' paused production and will be back up in accordance with safety guidelines."
Unfortunately, these delays are now a common occurrence in the landscape of moviemaking. Much like the rest of the movie world, bringing Fantastic Beasts 3 to screens has been an uphill struggle, and not just because of the ongoing global situation. Filming was originally set to begin in March 2020, but the movie has faced several setbacks, including the departure of Johnny Depp from the role of central villain Gellert Grindelwald. Depp was asked to step down from the role amid ongoing legal battles with his ex-wife Amber Heard. Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen has since been cast in the role and will debut as Grindelwald in the upcoming threequel.
While plot details for Fantastic Beasts 3 remain tightly under wraps, it is said to be a "build-up to World War II," and will include an extensive role for star Dan Fogler's muggle, Jacob Kowalski. "I have a lot to do in this one, which I'm really excited about," Fogler revealed last year. He then went on to reveal that there are plans to make several more sequels before they're through. "The whole thing is building up to - knock on wood - we get to do five movies here."
Returning star Eddie Redmayne has also teased some details concerning the continuing adventures of Newt Scamander, with the actor revealing that the character will be getting himself into some deep water, no doubt in aid of a mystically magical underwater creature. "I can't tell you anything other than the fact that I think I've got some night shoots in Watford, in Leavesden, [England], that we were meant to shoot in the summer in water. But now obviously because of lockdown, and the film shutdown, they're being shot in early December. And suddenly you find yourself swimming outdoors in British winter."
Fantastic Beasts 3 stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Jude Law as Dumbledore, Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Grindelwald, Ezra Miller as Credence, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, and Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is penning the screenplay alongside Steve Kloves, with returning director David Yates at the helm. There is no word on whether this delay will cause the movie's release date to be pushed back, so for now, Fantastic Beasts 3 is due to hit theaters on July 15th, 2022. This comes to us courtesy of Variety.