Warner Bros. is returning to its Wizarding World earlier than planned.
The next “Fantastic Beasts” installment, newly titled “The Secrets of Dumbledore,” will open in theaters on April 15, 2022. The third entry in the fantastical franchise was initially scheduled to release on July 15 of next year, but the studio opted to move its premiere up by three months.
Here’s the official logline: “Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?”
“Harry Potter” veteran David Yates is returning to direct the third movie. The prequel series — set decades before the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione — centers on magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who becomes a confidant of a young Albus Dumbledore, portrayed by Jude Law, amid the rise of the Hitler-esque Grindelwald.
The third “Fantastic Beasts” movie made headlines last November when Johnny Depp exited the series, in which he portrayed the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after Warner Bros. asked him to resign. Depp’s departure came shortly following the news he lost his libel case against The Sun, a British tabloid that published an article in 2018 alleging he was a “wife beater.”
Actor Mads Mikkelsen will replace Depp as Grindelwald. The cast also includes Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler and Jessica Williams.
J.K. Rowling, who has become a polarizing figure for her unsolicited comments against transgender people, wrote the scripts for the first two entries in the franchise: 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and 2018’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” Steve Kloves, who worked on many of the original “Harry Potter” movies, is co-writing the script for the third “Fantastic Beasts” film with Rowling.