Things didn’t work out as expected with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The movie was planned to be the second in a five-part series and Warner Bros. had no reason to believe that it wouldn’t perform as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But the audience just wasn’t there.
Nobody knows exactly why it was such a surprise failure at the box office, but it was likely some combination of bad reviews, iffy word of mouth, retcons that annoyed diehard Harry Potter fans and possibly a touch of franchise fatigue. As such, Warner Bros. have now gone back to the drawing board for Fantastic Beasts 3.
The switch of focus the studio decided on isn’t the most imaginative, but is probably a safe way to ensure an audience. Yup, we’re heading back to Hogwarts. And along the way, we’re reportedly going to be properly reintroduced to familiar characters from the Harry Potter books and movies.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us the Guardians of the Galaxy will cameo in Thor: Love and Thunder, and that an Aladdin sequel is in the works – the plan is to have a young Hagrid and Tom Riddle appear in the upcoming threequel (though we’re told this might also be held off until Fantastic Beasts 4 instead). It’s unclear if these would be cameo appearances or just small roles, but given what we know so far about the series’ timeline, we can certainly speculate a bit.
The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927, and Rowling has previously confirmed that the franchise will end in 1945. However, the presence of both Hagrid and Tom Riddle at Hogwarts means that the earliest date Fantastic Beasts 3 can take place, if it’s going to include them, is September 1st, 1940. That’s when Hagrid began his first year at the school, with Tom Riddle beginning his third year.
Of course, the characters’ time together at Hogwarts was partially seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. These events – Riddle’s opening of the Chamber of Secrets, the Basilisk attacks and Hagrid’s expulsion – don’t happen until 1943 though, which means that Fantastic Beasts 3 has some breathing room if it’s going to explore a little more of what was going on over Hagrid’s first and second years.
We’ve been told there’ll be significant time jumps between FB2 and FB3 and FB3 and FB4 as well, which also raises some questions. But we’ve been assured by our sources – the same ones who also told us a live-action Robin Hood remake was in the works at Disney, which is now confirmed – that at some point in the Fantastic Beasts series, we’ll be running into the two aforementioned characters.