Warner Bros. has delayed Fantastic Beasts 3 until summer 2022. The announcement comes after the studio confirmed that Johnny Depp will depart the franchise. "We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date," the studio said. "Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022." Depp revealed that Warner Bros. asked him to leave, which he agreed to.

The new Fantastic Beasts 3 release date comes just days after Johnny Depp lost his libel lawsuit against The Sun tabloid, which claimed in a headline that he was a "wife beater." Depp plans to appeal the ruling. As of this writing, it is unclear who the studio will get to replace Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, though that announcement should be coming along shortly. The Fantastic Beasts franchise has proven to be a success at the box office and many Harry Potter fans have been looking forward to the third installment.

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Fantastic Beasts 3 star Eddie Redmayne recently spoke about filming the movie during the public health crisis. As it turns out, they were originally able to shoot for one day before the pandemic broke out. From there, the cast and crew were sent home. "We're so lucky to be back in work and it's interesting, it's kind of like - film crews are amazing people and they're very adaptable people," says Redmayne. "So, we have a lot of testing, you know, we're in bubbles, and we're all masked, but it's been kind of... actually kind of great. So, it's nice to be back at work and I feel very lucky."

As for getting used to the new safety protocols, Eddie Redmayne says it has been pretty easy. As for what the Fantastic Beasts 3 set looks like these days, the actor says they are "testing frequently" and wearing masks. "I wondered, actually, whether the masks would affect creativity, in some ways. Maybe that was a bit ignorant, but I just thought, as humans, do we need interaction to spark from each other," notes Redmayne. "What is really reassuring is that it is a different process, but it still feels like it's fizzing and that everyone is working at the top of their game."

When it comes down to it, there was always a possibility that Fantastic Beasts 3 was going to get pushed back. With so many cases spiking again and movie theaters across Europe shutting down again, there's no telling what 2021 will look like for the entertainment industry. With that being said, the studio now has the luxury of finding the right actor to replace Johnny Depp and take on the role of Gellert Grindelwald. Variety was one of the first outlets to reveal the new Fantastic Beasts 3 release date.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick