We haven’t heard a great deal about Fantastic Beasts 3 since the initial furor over Johnny Depp being forced to resign as Grindelwald, which infuriated the actor’s supporters, leading to widespread calls for a boycott of the latest installment in the Wizarding World prequel series – even if Mads Mikkelsen is about as solid a replacement as you could have hoped for given his penchant for charismatically sinister villains. On the plus side for Depp, he pocketed a reported $16 million for one day of shooting, but he’d obviously much rather remain part of the franchise.
In any case, after the disappointing critical and commercial response to The Crimes of Grindelwald, which became the lowest-grossing and worst-reviewed entry in the entire extended Harry Potter universe, the next outing for Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander is pivotal to the franchise’s long-term future, with two more blockbusters still to go after next summer.
However, insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that Fantastic Beasts 3 is in big trouble, to the extent that it might even end up releasing as an HBO Max exclusive. Of course, there’s no additional information as to what sort of trouble it’s in, how it reached this point or why things have reportedly gotten to such a worrying stage that the studio is considering pulling it from theaters entirely and taking what would be a seismic financial hit in the process, so it’s hard to gauge if the doomsaying is on point.
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That being said, there’ve been similar reports making the rounds as well, like the one below:
I've now heard from multiple people I trust that FANTASTIC BEASTS 3 is (currently) a disaster. An HBO Max-exclusive release is being mulled.
Part of me hopes they turn it around and part of me's in fuck JK Rowling mode.
— David Manning (@ViewerAnon) June 15, 2021
It’s certainly a bit worrying to hear, but we might get a teaser trailer before the end of the year attached to one of Warner Bros.’ major titles, with filming having wrapped back in February. So Fantastic Beasts 3 is at least far enough along the post-production process to cobble something together in the near future so that fans can decide for themselves.