The Fantastic Beasts franchise isn’t in the best shape right now. Following the lacklustre reviews and box office performance of last November’s The Crimes of Grindelwald, Fantastic Beasts 3 was announced to have been pushed back by a year, leaving the fate of the rest of the five-film saga in question. Recently, though, things looked to be getting back on track as the movie was given a new release date.
Unfortunately, however, Fantastic Beasts 3 apparently still doesn’t have one rather important detail officially confirmed: its villain. The Blast is reporting that Johnny Depp hasn’t yet been approached by Warner Bros. to exercise the clause in his contract that requires him to return for the threequel. The site explained that the cast of the franchise have all signed five-picture deals but the option for each movie is handled as they come by the studio.
Depp’s situation might not be any different from the rest of the stars at this point, but this could be telling as it comes hot on the heels of another report that states WB execs are keen to cut ties with the actor after all the bad publicity that’s come with hiring Depp, following the ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard over the domestic abuse allegations leveled at him.
The Blast also comments that they’ve heard similar news, claiming that a few studio execs wish to fire Depp from the threequel while some “heavy hitters” are fighting to keep him on. One of these supporters is J.K. Rowling, who’s previously publicly backed him on social media. The author does hold a lot of sway, but it’s difficult to say if she has more power than studio brass. It seems we’ll just have to wait and see which way the decision goes.
In the meantime, we know for sure that Fantastic Beasts 3 is due to fly into theaters on November 12th, 2021 – with or without Johnny Depp.