Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them made its introduction back in 2001 as a guidebook about many of the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. The book was written by J. K. Rowling under the pen name of Newt Scamander, the Magizoologist (the study of magical creatures) who features prominently in everything Fantastic Beast related.
It took 15 years and the end of the Harry Potter film series to bring it to the big screen and has since seen a sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, with plans for five Fantastic Beast movies in total. Fantastic Beasts 3, as of yet unnamed, has started production and we have some magical information to share.
Which Potterverse Characters Will Return?
Let’s start off by saying who isn’t coming back for Fantastic Beasts 3. At least we think this character won’t be back, but in the Harry Potter world, anything is possible. We are talking about Zoë Kravitz’s (Catwoman in upcoming The Batman movie) Leta Lestrange character. She met her untimely demise at the hands of Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, thus ending her tragic tale as a close friend to Newt and fiancé to Newt’s older brother, Theseus.
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything, The Aeronauts) stars in Fantastic Beasts 3 as Newt Scamander, Magizoologist and English wizard.
Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, The Walking Dead) is back as Jacob Kowalski.
Alison Sudol (Between Us, Other People’s Children) returns in Fantastic Beasts 3 as Queenie Goldstein.
Katherine Waterston (Alien: Covenant, The Current War) will be in it as Tina Goldstein.
Callum Turner (War & Peace, Assassin’s Creed) returns as Newt’s brother Theseus Scamander.
Ezra Miller (Justice League) will be back in Fantastic Beasts 3 as the mysterious Credence Barebone (or is he a Dumbledore?).
Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes movies) is back in Fantastic Beasts 3 as the young Albus Dumbledore.
Johnny Depp Controversy
Of course, let’s not forget, Johnny Depp is supposed to return as the big bad guy Gellert Grindelwald. But the actor’s huge legal battle against his ex-wife Amber Heard could potentially get in the way.
Depp’s feud with his ex began when she publicly accused him of domestic abuse. In response, Hollywood got nervous about casting Johnny Depp in anything going forward. At the time, JK Rowling stood by Depp and Fantastic Beasts seemed committed to sticking with having him in the cast.
Commenting on the situation back in 2018 Depp had this to say to EW: “I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.“
Though Rowling has stuck by Depp, Warner Bros the studio behind Fantastic Beasts has been nervous about having him as part of the sequel. As the trial between Depp and Heard continues word is that there may be evidence presented during the trial that proves Amber Heard’s domestic abuse allegations. If those allegations go from allegations to actual facts, Warner Bros. could end up going against JK Rowling and kick him out of Fantastic Beasts 3.
For now though, Johnny Depp is in Fantastic Beasts 3. The embattled actor himself, per a Collider interview from last year, gave praise to his bad wizard while hinting about his imminent return to the role. “I loved it, because that’s really an arena where you can fly around and try different things and approach a character with a lot more … to take someone who is teetering on being a fascist, yeah, he’s a fascist, he’s one of those, but to play him as a sensitive, concerned yet manipulative and powerful wizard,” Depp said. “The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year.”
How much Depp’s fallout and continuing legal fight with actress Amber Heard will affect his future with the series remains to be seen.
THE MINDS BEHIND FANTASTIC BEASTS 3
David Yates may be on his way to becoming the J. K. Rowling whisperer. Yates jumped into the Harry Potter arena in 2007 when he was chosen to take on the fifth film of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was well-received, which landed him in the directors’ chair for not only the sixth film (Half-Blood Prince) but also the final two of the series, Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and Part 2.
The massive success of those final four films was enough to bring him along into the Fantastic Beast series. Yates has directed the first two films of the series and he is on board for Fantastic Beasts 3, four and five. Warner Bros. has a ton of confidence that Yates can bring this series to a financially positive conclusion.
The author of both the Harry Potter novels and their companion piece, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is J.K. Rowling and she’ll write the Fantastic Beasts 3 script herself. She also wrote the first two.
This time, Harry Potter vet Steve Kloves, who wrote seven of the eight Harry Potter movies (the only one he didn’t pen was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) will be on board as an assist to Rowling. His assistance moving forward with the final two movie scrxipts will probably be based on how well received Fantastic Beasts 3 is.
WHERE WILL Fantastic Beasts 3 TAKE US?
With the first Fantastic Beasts production sticking mainly in England, the second film spread its wings by also filming in Paris, France, and Switzerland. So fans were curious if they’d be introduced to another locale when Fantastic Beasts 3 premiered. Leave it up to author Rowling herself to let the possible location slip.
Apparently, the author posted a header on her Twitter account that fans asked her to explain. Her response was “It’s Rio Da Janeiro in the 1930s”.
Guess her spell check was on the fritz when she posted because Rowling came back a while later to correct her mistake. Rowling then added fuel to the Rio fire by following it up with another tweet, further hinting that some part of Fantastic Beasts 3 will indeed take place in Rio de Janeiro.
Two plus two equals Rio?
THE PLOT OF FANTASTIC BEASTS 3
There is a vague plot outline for Fantastic Beasts 3. Rowling has stated in the past that the five films will cover 19 years of the Wizarding World. With the first movie kicking off in 1926, 19 years would take fans to 1945, which is the year that Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald to claim the Elder Wand for himself. 1945 is also the same year that Tom Riddle (better known as Lord Voldemort) graduated from Hogwarts. How they get to this point is unknown.
When we last saw the main characters in Crimes of Grindelwald both Queenie and Credence has taken sides with Grindelwald. Newt, on the other hand, teamed up with his brother Theseus in their fight against the dark wizard. With the first Fantastic Beasts starting in ’26 and the second in ’27 and the end of the series supposedly taking place in 1945, a time jump of some sort may be in order.
WILL FANTASTIC BEASTS GET TO FIVE?
Yes. We will. So says Warner Brothers. The first two movies were not close to the success of the Harry Potter movies (tough to follow that series) but WB is putting all their chips on the Rowling table. They do seem fully committed, for now. It’s always possible a bad showing from Fantastic Beasts 3 could change the minds of those making decisions, but currently, Rowling is determined to see her story play out in five films.
HARRY POTTER CAST RETURNS?
So what about that Harry Potter connection? Wouldn’t it be nice to have those beloved characters somehow make an appearance in Fantastic Beasts 3 – 5?? Well, look (and listen) no further as some from the original Harry Potter series will reprise their roles. Just not how you’d expect.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, first introduced in Rowling’s last Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is making its way to Audible. Beedle the Bard is a series of five short stories that were intended as bedtime stories for youngsters. The five stories included The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump and the very popular The Tale of the Three Brothers.
Actor Warwick Davis of Willow fame and the Harry Potter series (as both Filius Flitwick / Griphook) will lend his chops to The Wizard and the Hopping Pot while Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies) will narrate The Fountain of Fair Fortune. Jason Isaacs will lend his voice to The Warlock’s Hairy Heart and Bonnie Wright, (Ron Weasley’s sister Ginny) will read Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump.
And finally, Noma Dumezweni will be reading The Tale of the Three Brothers. If her name isn’t familiar this is because she was not in the Harry Potter films, she was the original Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and the West End.
Also announced for this Audible endeavor is Sally Mortemore (librarian Irma Pince), she will read the introductions and Jude Law. Yes, the Fantastic Beasts 3 star is also part of this as Law will reprise his role as Dumbledore to read the notes that he had written on the pages of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.
WHERE’S HARRY POTTER?
Could all this be leading up to something special? Could we eventually see, somehow, Harry Potter in the fifth and final film of the series? It would take a significant jump for this to happen, but it is J. K. Rowling and her stories revolve around wizards.
To make it happen, they’d have to agree to get Daniel Radcliffe to return and that seems pretty unlikely. Apparently his experience with making Harry Potter movies, especially during the last couple of movies, wasn’t exactly a positive one.
In an interview with UK Independent Radcliffe reveals that Harry Potter drove him to drink. In fact it seems he was drunk during the filming of some of the final movies, too. He says, “[My] way of dealing with that [was] just to drink more or get more drunk, so I did a lot of that for a few years. … A lot of drinking that happened towards the end of Potter and for a little bit after it finished, it was panic, a little bit not knowing what to do next – not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober.“
Variety asked Daniel Radcliffe directly if he could see himself reprising his most famous role and he answered, “I don’t think so. I don’t like say no to things, but it’s not something that I’m rushing to do. I feel like those films have moved on and they’re doing just fine without us. I’m happy to keep it that way. I like what my life is now. I’m not saying that I’ll never go back into any franchise, but I like the flexibility that I have with my career now. And I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m signed up for one series for years in advance.”
While it’s not the answer Harry Potter fans were hoping for, it’s a reasonable outlook for the star. Of course, this doesn’t mean a return is completely off the table, though it won’t happen in Fantastic Beasts 3. Sometimes fans have a way of getting what they wished for. As do movie studios with an endless source of green motivation.