Featured in the April 2021 issue of The Rowling Library Magazine.

Fantastic Beasts 3 Title: Will it be related to a Phoenix or to Albus Dumbledore?

676 words.

Although Gellert Grindelwald is part of the title of the second film of Fantastic Beasts, one could argue that the main character is Albus Dumbledore. Not only because of his actions and scenes, but also because he is part of the open question that is left at the end of the film for fans to speculate.

J.K. Rowling already told us on her Twitter account that “answers are given” in the third instalment of the series, and it means that we will probably know more about that mysterious relationship teased by Grindelwald between Albus Dumbledore and Credence Barebone (or should we call him Aurelius already?). But that’s not the only mystery surrounding the soon-to-be Hogwarts headmaster: there is also the whole topic of the blood pact, and how or why he is manipulating Newt Scamander.

Since then, fans have been playing and theorizing possible titles for the third film, and most of them (if not all) go around Dumbledore or a phoenix. Titles like “The Curse of the Dumbledore”, “The Blood of Dumbledore”, “The Secrets of Dumbledore” have been in mouth of some fans, while other including a phoenix as “The Revenge of the Phoenix”, “The Return of the Phoenix” and “The Rise of the Phoenix” were as well discussed. 

None of these titles were hinted by Warner Bros. and were only created by fans, but lately there have been some clues that may indicate that a phoenix (or Dumbledore, since both beings are interconnected in one way or another) may be part of the title.

The official account for the Fantastic Beasts films, both on Instagram and Twitter, published two posts, out of nowhere, about a phoenix and Dumbledore. While the phoenix post was some kind of infographic about the creature’s history and characteristics, the Dumbledore one was more about his scenes and favourite quotes. It was weird that the timing of the posts was almost the same (both of them on the same day, with a few hours of difference), and without any special reason. It could be to warm up the fan and the not-so-fan before the release of the title.

A few weeks ago as well, at the end of February, when the film was wrapping production, Maja Bloom (who played the character Carrow in the second film) shared on her Instagram account that a colleague gifted her a personalized and expensive chocolate with the shape of a phoenix. These symbolic gestures are normal after wrapping production of these big films, so it is safe to guess that Maja received it from a colleague who worked with her on Fantastic Beasts 3. The choice of the phoenix as the shape of the piece of chocolate could be a hint about the main topic or title of this picture, as we mentioned earlier. Including the word “phoenix” in the title is not entirely out of place because it would somehow bring the Fantastic Beasts movie series to its core: the fantastic creatures that started everything in the first film.

However, if Warner Bros. / J.K. Rowling goes with this route, it could feel cheap. “Phoenix”, as a word, was already featured in the fifth Harry Potter book, and the repetition would look a bit vulgar or highlight a clear lack of imagination. Featuring Dumbledore’s name in the title could (and will) be seen as a last ditch effort to bring more people to this new film series, making the relationship with Harry Potter even more evident. 

The producers (or whoever is in charge to decide the title) will not have an easy task: they have to make the right call so that it’s good enough to attract people to watch the film, without giving too much away or falling for a tacky and obvious choice. The title for The Crimes of Grindelwald was revealed one year exactly before the release of the film, and considering the third title will be screened in July 2022, it seems we will have still a few months until knowing how it is going to be named.