‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Filming Set For Spring 2020, No One Notices Because No One Cares (Not After That Last One)
Recently, the Fantastic Beasts franchise seems to have lost some of its magic. The first film in the spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was released in 2016, eventually grossing a respectable $800 million at the worldwide box office. Warner Bros. commenced greenlighting the sequel to the spinoff, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which was nearly killed what is supposed to be a five-film franchise altogether. Critics largely lambasted the film and it failed to connect with audiences. While the sequel’s worldwide box office gross of $650 million is nothing to scoff at, it also proved to fall short of the franchise’s lofty expectations. Up next is Fantastic Beasts 3, set for release in the spring of 2020, though it’s become clear that nobody cares about characters in the Harry Potter universe not named Harry, Ron, or Hermione.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
Returning to the Well In 2020
In a surprise to no one, Warner Bros. has officially greenlit the next film in the Harry Potter cash cow, interestingly called Fantastic Beasts 3: Unnecessarily Long Subtitle Yet to Be Announced. While Potter fans are sure to obsess over the meaning of the intriguing new title, the film is set to begin shooting sometime in spring 2020.
The studio previously delayed production on the next entry in the franchise, sparking speculation that it might be pumping the breaks on the threequel. As it turns out, the studio decided to wait a few months in order to spend more time developing the film. However, WB hasn’t realized it is deeply invested in making a series of movies that no one really asked for.
More Characters, More Convolution
Although the studio is entering beating-a-dead-horse territory by greenlighting Fantastic Beasts 3, it ultimately seems to have learned nothing from its predecessor. Set to return for the latest installment are Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, and Ezra Miller, along with Johnny Depp’s diminishing career prospects. In addition, it seems that Jessica Williams is also taking a more prominent role this time around as Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, a character that no one remembers from the previous movies. For a franchise that has far too many characters, it's good that even more will be added to the ensemble this time around.
Embracing the Gimmick
As with its predecessors, Fantastic Beasts 3 will also see the setting of the film change once again. Whereas the first was set in New York and the second in Paris, the latest installment will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Even though the idea of exploring different wizarding cultures across the globe is certainly an interesting idea, it’s used as a gimmick in execution. In other words, it is always nice to see a bunch of white people running around South America in the 1930s.
A New Hope
One of the biggest issues with The Crimes of Grindelwald was messy and convoluted storytelling. This was probably due to the excessive number of new characters featuring complicated backstories and jarring, unresolved narrative threads in J.K. Rowling’s atrocious screenplay. As a result, WB has also enlisted veteran Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves, who wrote seven of the eight original movies.
Although David Yates is also set to return to the director’s chair for the seventh time, the presence of Kloves in the screenplay is the one glimmer of hope left for the franchise. After all, the spinoff series probably won’t make good on its promise to provide five films in the series. That is unless Fantastic Beasts 3 manages to actually make us care about these characters when the film arrives in theaters on Nov. 12, 2021.