Fantastic Beasts 3 was all set to begin production this week. However, COVID-19 concerns have put the project on temporary hold. The highly anticipated sequel will be the eleventh installment in the Harry Potter franchise and the third installment in the latest series. Details are scarce, but it is believed to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For a while, it seemed that Warner Bros. was one of the only major studios that was content on keeping current productions up and running, while starting new ones at the same time.

The coronavirus has suspended production on a number of big studio projects over the last two weeks. Major studios like Disney have decided to take a break to see how things progress before starting everything back up again. Over the weekend, Fantastic Beasts 3 was still reportedly scheduled to begin shooting. Warner Bros. has also halted a number of other projects, including The Batman, King Richard, and Samaritan.

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Eddie Redmayne is set to star in Fantastic Beasts 3, along with Johnny Depp, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, and Dan Fogler. David Yates, who served as the director on the first two installments, will once again return for the third. Harry Potter author JK Rowling co-wrote the script with Steve Kloves, who wrote seven of the original movies. While most of the storyline is being kept under wraps, it is believed Jessica Williams, who plays Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, will have a much larger part in the third installment. This had yet to be officially confirmed as of this writing, but confirmation should come soon, especially if production was set to start in just a few days.

Last week, it was rumored that Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe was the first celebrity to test positive for the coronavirus. As it turns out, it was just a hoax that Radcliffe found to be amusing. The actor joked that they chose him because of his pale complexion and for the fact that he always looks ill. In the end, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were the first celebrities to test positive for the coronavirus. They're quarantined in Australia for the moment, while Radcliffe is free to live his life for the time being.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, it will be interesting to see if any studios move forward on their projects going. For now, it seems that everybody is taking extra precaution to make sure the COVID-19 disease does not spread any further. It is not clear when Fantastic Beasts 3 will go into production, but it is still scheduled to open in theaters next year. So far, only a handful of finished movies have had their release dates moves over the past few weeks and there will more than likely be a lot more on the way. Deadline was the first to report on the Fantastic Beast 3 production delay.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick