It looks like magic is on hold again for fans of the Harry Potter franchise. The Fantastic Beasts 3 premiere date was officially pushed to 2022, so viewers will have to wait even longer to see what's next for Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). While the third film in the series was originally set to be released mid-November 2021, production was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The news of the pushed premiere date comes just days after Johnny Depp announced he was asked to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald. As of Nov. 9, the role is being recast. According to Variety, the scenes with Depp had not been shot yet, so luckily, the casting change shouldn't mess with the film’s production timeline any more than it's already messed with. That said, this means producers will have to find someone to take the role, and fast, since the infamous dark wizard is a central part of the plot.
With the new premiere date, it looks like they'll have plenty of time to make any necessary recast-related plot changes, since Fantastic Beasts 3 is now set to be released on July 15, 2022. This is the first time a Fantastic Beasts film is set to premiere in the summer (it usually comes out around Thanksgiving). However, Potter fans will surely remember this bittersweet date, since it's when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiered back in 2011, concluding the on-screen adventures of Harry, Hermione, and Ron.
While the spinoff movie series centers around magizoologist Newt Scamander (who authored the book titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which the Harry Potter characters reference in the original series), the real story is the rise (and eventual fall) of Grindelwald. As the Voldemort before Voldemort, Grindelwald's history — not to mention wand — is a major plot point of the Harry Potter series. Now, fans are getting to learn more about the Wizarding World through Fantastic Beasts. The five-film series is set to span 19 years, with the final movie showcasing the epic Dumbledore-Grindelwald duel of 1945.
With this new premiere push, however, it looks like fans will have to wait even longer to see how that historic battle plays out.