The third installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise was originally supposed to get underway a couple of weeks ago, with shooting ready to kick off in Iceland before the Coronavirus pandemic forced them to hit the pause button. As you’re probably aware, Ezra Miller remains in the country, and if it wasn’t for a major global crisis, then perhaps he wouldn’t have ended up choking out a fan in public and potentially damaged his entire career.
Of course, that incident marks the second time that the Wizarding World spinoff series has faced a very public backlash against one of the key members of the cast, with Warner Bros. also facing criticism a couple of years back for keeping Johnny Depp on board as Grindelwald, although recent developments in his court case have since swayed public opinion on the Pirates of the Caribbean star.
To many people, Fantastic Beasts has always seemed like a bit of a cynical cash-grab, with the decision to stretch a 128-page fictional textbook originally written to raise money for charity into five feature-length blockbusters viewed as an effort to wring every last penny out of the Wizarding World long after the Harry Potter movies concluded.
The quality of the first two entries themselves didn’t dispel this notion, either, with neither coming anywhere close to matching the critical or commercial adulation that greeted the adventures of Harry and the gang. The Crimes of Grindelwald became both the lowest-earning and worst-reviewed Potter-related movie yet, and now we’ve heard that in an effort to revive the flagging franchise, Warner Bros. are set to tie it even closer to the original eight films in order to appease disenchanted fans.
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 studio are keen to give Eddie Redmayne his wish and might have Hagrid appear in Fantastic Beasts 3. Not only that, but they’re also looking into including a young Tom Riddle in the next installment as well. How they would factor in remains unclear, but we’re told that Warner Bros. is intent on including more popular characters from the franchise.
Of course, how Fantastic Beasts 3 performs will be a pivotal moment that could make or break the entire series, so it isn’t surprising that they’d want to play up the Harry Potter connections as much as possible. But whether they’ll be able to fit them all into the story organically and in a way that makes sense remains to be seen.