Remember Harry Potter? Warner Bros. still does, and it is finally hoping to get the franchise back on track as the studio has announced the third film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series now has a release date, after a long wait after the second film underperformed and issues with recasting Johnny Depp gave the franchise a black eye. Fantastic Beasts 3 will land with a release date of April 15, 2022 and the title Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
That release actually moves the film up three months from July 15 and gives the magic-filled film the Easter weekend to pull in a sizeable box office. The series hasn’t quite captured the cultural zeitgeist that the original Harry Potter films did, but it has pulled in $1.46 billion worldwide, even if the second film saw dwindling returns and diminished fan response. That movie came out in 2018, and a four-year gap after a movie that didn’t quite move means that the franchise has an uphill battle to bring folks back into theaters.
The films star Eddie Redmayne as the lead character, Newt Scamander, alongside Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Dan Fogler. The official title for Fantastic Beasts 3 suggests that Jude Law, playing Dumbledore, will play an even bigger role in this film, which is said to take place in Rio de Janeiro. Previously Johnny Depp was playing the evil wizard Grindelwald, but abuse allegations prompted the studio to remove the actor from the role, recasting him with Mads Mikkelsen in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. David Yates, who directed the first two films, will return to direct this one as well.
If you’re hoping to catch this one on HBO Max like you’ve been able to do all year with WB films, that unfortunately won’t be an option. The studio’s day-and-date releases will end at the end of 2021. Fantastic Beasts 3, now with its official title of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, will be strictly a theater-going experience upon its release date this April.