While the lockdown has thrown the fate of every upcoming Hollywood blockbuster in jeopardy, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has battled an additional set of controversies regarding its cast and J.K. Rowling that had some believing the third movie in the series would never get made. Now, lead actor Eddie Redmayne has confirmed to CinemaBlend that the cast and crew of Fantastic Beasts 3 have finally restarted work.

"It's interesting because we've started shooting now. We're two weeks in, and again, it's a whole new process. It's a whole new normal. Testing frequently, masks. And 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. 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."
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Warner Bros., which is producing Fantastic Beasts 3, has already had a scare on another one of their big-budget projects, The Batman, which recently started production again, and then abruptly shut down within weeks due to a fresh case of infection onset. Now, Warner has tightened the safety protocols on film sets even more in an attempt to head off any new infection cases, including strict social distancing and mask rules, and regular cleaning and disinfection of the locations, cast, and crew.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them was released in 2016, kickstarting a new franchise set in the world of Harry Potter but taking place many decades earlier. The series started out seeming to be about the wacky adventures of magical zoologist Newt Scamander and his globe-trotting travels to capture all manners of magical creatures like a bashfully British Pokemon trainer.

By the time the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald rolled up, it had become clear that Newt's adventures were merely a backdrop to the real story unfolding across the series, which dealt with powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald's attempts to subjugate the magical and non-magical world, and the efforts of his best-friend-turned-enemy Albus Dumbledore and his Order of the Phoenix to stop Grindlewald.

In the past year, Johhny Depp, who plays Grindlewald, and Ezra Miller, who plays another major character Credence Barebone, have come under negative scrutiny, the former for his messy divorce with Amber Heard following claims of abuse and the latter for a viral video in which Miller appears to be assaulting a female fan.

Additionally, the architect of the entire franchise, J.K. Rowling, has been experiencing attacks on multiple fronts for her views on transgender issues. While filming for Fantastic Beasts 3 seems to be moving ahead on schedule, It remains to be seen whether the various controversies will affect the public's reception of the movie when it finally releases.

Directed by David Yates and based on a screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, Fantastic Beasts 3 features film stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, and Jude Law. The release date for the film is set for November 12, 2021. This news originated at Cinemablend.

Neeraj Chand