The latest entry into the Wizarding World still doesn’t have an official subtitle yet, but David Yates’ Fantastic Beasts 3 already finds itself in a precarious position. After all, it would be an understatement to say that fans weren’t all that impressed with previous installment The Crimes of Grindelwald, which saw box office takings and critical reactions fall off a cliff, with the movie earning the least amount of money and scoring the worst reviews that the franchise had ever seen by quite some distance. There’s still another three of these blockbusters to go, of course, and if Newt Scamander’s next adventure can’t arrest the worrying decline in fortunes, then serious questions will start being asked.
Cameras are finally rolling on Fantastic Beasts 3 after the start of production was pushed back months as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, and in the meantime, Warner Bros. had to deal with two of the cast’s major players finding themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Ezra Miller was facing calls to be fired when a video of him choking out a female fan in Iceland quickly went viral, while Johnny Depp is still in the midst of his bitter and protracted legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard, and it seems very unlikely that there’s going to be a swift resolution to the courtroom drama.
Both stars have been generating the wrong sort of publicity, and insider Grace Randolph claims that while they’ll definitely be returning for Fantastic Beasts 3, the film is being designed and shot with the intention that both actors could have a number of scenes removed from the final cut depending on whether or not the furor and controversy has died down before the movie hits theaters.