Last week, it was reported that Warner Bros. asked Johnny Depp to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the next Fantastic Beasts film amid allegations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, that have been making headlines for the past four years. Following this announcement, the studio has confirmed that the upcoming sequel is getting postponed. According to Deadline, Fantastic Beasts 3 will now hit theaters on July 15, 2022.
WB was originally going to premiere the film on November 12, 2021. This gave it a fall release window similar to the last two Fantastic Beasts installments. But as Deadline notes, it won’t be the first Harry Potter-related movie to debut in the summer. Filming was supposed to get underway back in March before the COVID-19 outbreak struck. Production officially began in London in September with safety regulations in place.
This news comes right as The Hollywood Reporter has published a story revealing new details about Depp’s departure. According to the report, even though Depp only shot one scene for Fantastic Beasts 3 prior to his dismissal, WB still has to pay him his full salary for the movie thanks to his pay-or-play contract. The studio will ultimately re-cast Grindelwald for the sequel. However, there’s still no word on which actors they’re currently considering.
Regardless, WB isn’t abandoning the brand anytime soon, since Fantastic Beasts 3 isn’t the only Wizarding World adventure coming up. The studio’s video game division is also releasing its Hogwarts Legacy RPG for next-gen consoles in 2021.
How do you feel about WB’s decision to push back the next Fantastic Beasts movie? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
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