Will we ever get to see Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s great duel in a fifth movie or will the story shrink to fit fewer films? Right after the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and the bad reviews that sprang up, some fans started to wonder if there was any chance that the series could be cancelled if it didn’t succeed at the box office, or even lose some actors who would prefer to jump ship before it was too late.
The last piece of news looks similar to what some fans believed in the first place. The third Fantastic Beasts film was planned to be released in November 2020, following the release-in-November-every-two-years pattern. However, Deadline got the exclusive that the production for the third film, which was going to start soon, was postponed to autumn.
The reasons are unknown and took the cast members by surprise because in different interviews they said filming was going to start in June. But now, with production pushed back to late autumn, this could cause some conflict for some of the celebrities, especially Ezra Miller (Credence / Aurelius), who is already appointed to reprise his Flash role in Flashpoint, and also a young Dali in the Salvador Dali biopic Dali Land.
Although some fans may be sad for this decision by Warner Brothers, it may not be that bad after all. According to Deadline, “Warner Bros. executives now have a new approach of allowing big productions to brew as needed”, which could be they are aware of the problems that The Crimes of Grindelwald had. Postponing the production phase means to extend the pre-production phase (because they are already working on it), and that is more time for the screenplay to be developed, including storyboards, identifying locations and more. Considering most of the problems of the second film in the series could have been solved at this point, taking more time to plan the third movie makes much more sense.
But if we are negative and want to think of bad reasons for pushing back production, we have a few. Let’s remember that even though the sequels usually earn less money than first parts, The Crimes of Grindelwald gathered 200 millions less than Where To Find Them. And even if we think that the Wizarding World is important to Warner Bros, they are a massive company whose main concern is money. The Crimes of Grindelwald raised half (in the United States) of what Batman V Superman did (and this is one of Warner Bros most hated movies). It also earned less than Aquaman, which already surpassed Where to Find Them with only 3 weeks since its opening. So, considering the pre-production phase needs more time, we could be talking about a plan in which Warner Bros. want to rearrange some of the things that were thought for Fantastic Beasts 3 and try to allocate less money for it. It might be possible if they think the third film will earn even less money than the second part, which could indicate that they are trying to cut the budget was that originally planned. Does this affect the film in any way? If we analyse it in depth, we could be talking about fewer special effects or even reducing expensive trips to study locations to later on re-building them in Leavesden Studios.
But if you think that’s bad, don’t continue reading. The worst cause could be that Warner Bros. think that five films is too many, and may have requested to reduce it to four films. This means Rowling would need to rewrite the entire script for the next movie to fit the plot that was planned for the future films. If this ends up becoming a reality, Rowling should pack what was planned for three movies into two – a hard task, considering that the Fantastic Beasts series seems to be just starting.
For now, let’s just stay positive and wait for official announcements, but remember that a delay in the production implies a delay in the release date too, so we should expect the third film to be released on the first half of 2021 all around the world. Warner Bros already set aside two dates in 2021 that could be used for FB3: July 16th and October 1st. However, the July date was announced for Space Jam 2. The October date is closer to November – the latter being a popular month for Wizarding World fans because it’s when the last films were launched. So October could definitely work for the next movie. After all, 2021 is not that far because if you take everything into account, the fifth and final part of the franchise should be released around 2028. And that is a long time to see what we are all waiting for: the final duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
You are reading an article from The Rowling Library Magazine Issue 26 (February 2019).
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