The official title and release date for Fantastic Beasts 3 have just been announced. Per the official Harry Potter account on Twitter, a brief video teaser was posted revealing the official logo for the upcoming sequel. While we can still refer to it as Fantastic Beasts 3 for short, the movie is officially called Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. The sequel will premiere in theaters on April 15, 2022, and you can check out the teaser below.
While this will obviously be a direct sequel to the first two Fantastic Beasts movies. However, the new movie comes with a major casting change to the role of Grindelwald. Johnny Depp was originally on board to reprise his role and had even been on set to film new scenes as the character. Issues relating to his public legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard resulted in the studio asking Depp to resign, leading to Mads Mikkelsen coming in as his replacement.
"This is the tricky part. We're still working it out," Mikkelsen said of taking over the role, per EW. "There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved."
On the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the actor later added: "They were just wonderful people. They know the situation that they're in. They know the situation I'm in, the film is in, so it's a family that's always already been close-knit, but there was room for one more. That's the way you feel, and so yeah, that was just a very good experience. And that [goes] for everyone there. They have a kind crew as well. They are [in] very difficult circumstances, not only this but the COVID-like styles, testing constantly, it feels like a really tight-knit community."
Mads Mikkelsen joins an ensemble cast that also includes Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, William Nadylam, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Jessica Williams, and Jude Law as the titular Dumbledore. David Yates directs using a script by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves. Rowling, Kloves, David Heyman, Lionel Wigram, and Tim Lewis are producing.
Like many other movie projects, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has had shifting release dates before this latest one was just announced. At one point, the sequel was due to arrive this November, but the pandemic along with Johnny Depp's recasting pushed things back. The plan was to release Fantastic Beasts 3 in July 2022, but the new release date for April 2022 means we're now getting the sequel three months sooner than expected.
It will be interesting to see how the third installment does in theaters, as things in the world have changed since the previous movies were released. Losing Johnny Depp certainly doesn't help matters, especially with his fans already boycotting Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom due to Amber Heard's involvement. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is now scheduled for a release on April 15, 2022.