Warner Bros. has finally locked down a release date for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3. This comes after the release of The Crimes of Grindelwald last year, which wound up being a step in the wrong direction, critically and commercially speaking. As such, the studio didn't want to rush ahead with the next installment. It seems, however, they've settled a bit and now intend to release the next entry in J.K. Rowling's wizarding world in November 2021.
The studio has announced that the currently untitled Fantastic Beasts 3 will cast its spell on audiences November 21, 2021. That seems to line up with this prequel franchise, as each previous installment has also debuted in November. That, for the most part, has paid off. Though, we should assume that the studio would do some course correcting heading into the third entry. Toby Emmerich, Chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures, had this to say in a statement.
"We are incredibly excited about and have confidence in the 'Fantastic Beasts.' 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."
This will be the third in what J.K. Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter franchise, has lined up as a five-movie arc. Rowling has written the scripts for each of these prequel movies so far and began work on the upcoming installment in May of last year. It's unclear if the response to The Crimes of Grindelwald seriously altered her original plans. Ron Sanders, Warner Bros. president of worldwide theatrical distribution and home entertainment had this to say.
"J.K. Rowling created an awe-inspiring universe that has captivated people of all ages, taking us on an extraordinary magical journey. 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."
What we know for sure is that last year's sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wasn't quite the home run the studio had been hoping it might be. Even setting aside the backlash against star Johnny Depp, who plays the nefarious Grindelwald and, at present, is set to reprise his role, there were larger issues. The movie grossed $653.7 million globally. That's a solid number for most movies. Yet, it's a whole lot less than the $814 million brought in by its predecessor.
The Crimes of Grindelwald was largely panned by critics, as it currently sits at just 37 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Its audience rating is also quite low compared to the Harry Potter franchise at large, at just 57 percent. Still, there's money to be made by continuing on. Production is expected to begin in spring 2020, with the core cast set to return. No director has officially been announced as of yet. David Yates helmed the previous two movies. This news was previously reported by Variety.