Warner Bros. has announced the Fantastic Beasts 3 release date, letting fans know when the next installment of the Harry Potter prequel franchise will be hitting theaters. The new film is set to open on November 12, 2021, which marks nearly three years to the day that the sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opened—one year longer than the gap between the first two movies. Initially, WB had eyed a November 2020 release date for Fantastic Beasts 3, but it was previously revealed that the production start-date was being pushed back to give the filmmakers more time to hone the script and address notes.
Indeed, Crimes of Grindelwald opened to less-than-enthusiastic reviews from critics and ended up grossing about $160 million less than its predecessor at the worldwide box office: $653.6 million vs. $814 million. Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich says the new release date will allow the filmmakers to ensure the story is in the best possible shape before filming begins:
Fantastic Beasts 3 filming is now expected to begin in Spring 2020, after originally eyeing a Fall 2019 start-date. David Yates, who helmed the final four Potter movies and the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, is attached to direct. Rowling is once again writing the screenplay, after making her screenwriting debut on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
While I admire Yates’s work (I love what he did with Half-Blood Prince), it does feel like the Fantastic Beasts franchise could be in use of its own Prisoner of Azkaban to really shake things up. Perhaps Yates will evolve his style. We’ll see, but as a huge fan of the Potter franchise overall, I’m curious to see how this story progresses.