Fantastic Beasts 3: Warner Bros Confirms Grindelwald Recast After Johnny Depp Exit

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Fantastic Beasts 3 will start filming in February 2020, according to actor Dan Fogler. The third entry in the Harry Potter prequel series was originally set to begin filming this past summer, with a November 2020 release date in mind. However, after last year's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald failed to impress critics (making it the first Wizarding World film to do so) and under-performed at the box office, Warner Bros. hit the brakes and delayed the film by a year to November 2021, instead.
There haven't been too many updates to report since then, beyond franchise creator J.K. Rowling (who wrote the first two Fantastic Beasts movies) being busy writing the screenplay. About a month ago, Newt Scamander actor Eddie Redmayne confirmed that Rowling is actively fine-tuning her Fantastic Beasts 3 script ahead of production beginning next year. His costar Fogler, who plays Jacob Kowalski, has since affirmed the 2020 start date.


Speaking at LeakyCon 2019 Boston (via
ComicBook.com), Fogler saidFantastic Beasts 3 starts filming in February 2020, adding that Rowling has"been writing furiously, everyone was really happy with what she submitted, and we’re all just waiting for the new script". He then went on to talk about his slimmed-down appearance, joking that Jacob's girlfriend, Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), puts a spell on the character to get fit. He then offered a more serious thought on how this could inform Jacob's personal journey in Fantastic Beasts 3.



"[On] a philosophical level, it’ll be interesting… We’re in the middle of the Depression, he’s just on a bender of loss. He lost her … I’m just saying this is the thing that I have in my head, that he’s lost his appetite".



Mixed to negative reviews and diminished box office returns aren't the only problems the Fantastic Beasts franchise has had to deal with over the past year. WB and Rowling also made the controversial decision to keep Johnny Depp onboard as Gellert Grindelwald, despite the backlash to his casting after his ex-wife Amber Heard levied domestic abuse allegations against him in 2016. The actor then filed a defamation lawsuit against Heard earlier this year, and it's since been reported that WB executives are worried Depp's continued involvement will damage Fantastic Beasts 3 (as well as the other two films still planned in the series). It's enough to make one wonder if Rowling's script rewrites include fewer scenes where Grindelwald shows up in-person, for that very reason.


That aside, though, fans are still holding out hope that
Fantastic Beasts 3 will be a pretty big an improvement on The Crimes of Grindelwald thanks to its delay. For all its flaws, the second Fantastic Beasts movie had some promising elements and laid the ground-work for some intriguing story twists and turns moving forward. And with a whole lot of table-setting now out of the way, the third Fantastic Beasts (and however many more films come after that) is free to build on the foundation already in place in new and compelling ways. With a little luck, then, that's exactly what Fantastic Beasts 3 will do.


Source:
ComicBook.com
 

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Fantastic Beasts 3: Warner Bros Confirms Grindelwald Recast After Johnny Depp Exit


Warner Bros. releases a statement following Johnny Depp's exit from Fantastic Beasts 3 confirming the role of Grindelwald will be recast.



Warner Bros has released a statement following Johnny Depp's exit from Fantastic Beasts 3 confirming the role of Grindelwald will be recast. Depp joined the Harry Potter prequel franchise in a cameo as Gellert Grindelwald at the end of 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movie's climax reveals Colin Farrell's Percival Graves was actually the legendary dark wizard in disguise. He changed into his form in the dying seconds of the movie, then played by Depp.

It was seen as a controversial casting at the time, due to Depp's ex-wife, Amber Heard, having accused him of abuse. A recent court ruling reiterated the fact The Sun was allowed to call Depp a "wife beater," putting his participation in Fantastic Beasts 3 in limbo. Earlier reports confirmed Depp would return, even as far as asking for filming dates to be shifted to accommodate his court case. Those pleas ended up being pointless in the end, as Depp confirmed via Instagram today Warner Bros. has asked him to exit Fantastic Beasts 3 due to the controversy. Now, the studio has confirmed the news and clarified Grindelwald's role in the franchise going forward.


Indie Wire reports a press release from Warner Bros. states Grindelwald will indeed be recast for Fantastic Beasts 3 following Depp's exit. The release does not mention names, so if Warner Bros. has any actors in mind it is not telling at this point. The statement also thanks Depp for his work on the films, adding production is currently underway for a 2022 release. You can read the full release from Warner Bros. below:

Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.

Grindelwald is a key figure in the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling, having been introduced in the first book in the series, in reference to Dumbledore defeating him in a duel. His wand plays a key role in the last book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, too, and Rowling has expanded upon his story with the Fantastic Beasts movies. As a result, recasting him will come with a great deal of scrutiny, as did Depp's initial casting. A number of candidates to replace Depp as Grindelwald have been mentioned in the past, including Michael Fassbender, Paul Bettany, and even Farrell in a return to the role.

However, given the news has just been announced, there is no certainty that any of those actors are even available if Warner Bros wants them. What is clear is whoever is cast will need to be chosen soon, as, with production on Fantastic Beasts 3 underway, a replacement for Depp needs to be found quickly. If not, the movie risks further delay, in another blow to a franchise that has struggled to replicate the success of the original Harry Potter series.


Source: Warner Bros. (via Indie Wire)

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Why Johnny Depp Is Leaving Fantastic Beasts 3


Grindelwald actor Johnny Depp was asked to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise after losing a libel lawsuit against UK tabloid The Sun.



Actor Johnny Depp is exiting the role of Gellert Grindelwald as Warner Bros. seeks to recast the character for Fantastic Beasts 3, which has now been delayed to 2022. The catalyst for the decision was Depp losing a libel lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun, regarding the newspaper's description of Depp as a "wife-beater" following allegations of domestic violence against him by his now ex-wife Amber Heard.

The controversy began in May 2016 when, a few days after filing for divorce against Depp, Heard also filed a domestic violence restraining order that alleged "excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse." The restraining order was granted and their divorce was finalized in January 2017, but both Depp and Heard continued to speak publicly about the allegations, with Depp fervently denying them. Throughout this time Warner Bros. resisted calls to remove Depp from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling also defended Depp, saying, "Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the film-makers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."


In response to this statement, The Sun published an article in April 2018 with the headline "GONE POTTY: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?" At the time, Depp and his legal team were pushing back against Heard's allegations, sharing evidence that Heard herself had been physically and emotionally abusive towards Depp during their marriage. In June 2018 Depp filed a libel claim against The Sun's parent company on the grounds that the "wife-beater" article "caused serious harm to [his] personal and professional reputation." The legal battle that followed largely rested on 14 allegations of serious physical assault, with Heard herself giving testimony during the trial. In November 2020 the presiding judge ruled that 12 of these alleged assaults had been proved substantially true, deciding the case in The Sun's favor. A few days later, Depp resigned from the Fantastic Beasts franchise at the request of Warner Bros.


Warner Bros.' statement on Depp's departure offers no more details: "Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date." However, it is likely that this decision was not entirely the result of the court ruling, but has actually been in consideration by the studio for some time. The Fantastic Beasts franchise is facing enough controversy as it is, due to Rowling's opposition to transgender rights in the UK. Moreover, Depp has never been a particularly popular casting choice for the role of Grindelwald. He appeared in the first Fantastic Beasts film only at the very end, when Colin Farrell's Percival Graves revealed himself to be the dark wizard in disguise, and the 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was a box office disappointment for Warner Bros.

The production of Fantastic Beasts 3 has also been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with the first UK lockdown forcing the planned March 2020 production start date to be postponed. Filming finally began in September, but a second national lockdown came into effect on November 5. Alongside the news of Depp's departure came news that Fantastic Beasts 3 has been pushed back from its planned November 2021 release date to summer 2022. With the deadline to deliver the film extended, it appears that Warner Bros. may be taking the opportunity to shed some of the problems that have hampered the success of the Fantastic Beasts franchise - Depp's starring role among them.
 

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Fantastic Beasts 3 Officially Casts Mads Mikkelsen To Replace Johnny Depp


Fantastic Beasts 3 has officially cast Hannibal actor Mads Mikkelsen as Johnny Depp's replacement for the role of Gellert Grindelwald.




Fantastic Beasts 3 officially casts Mads Mikkelsen as Johnny Depp's replacement for the role of Gellert Grindelwald. In 2016, Warner Bros. revived J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World on the big screen with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel film based on a Hogwarts textbook. Though the series initially looked like it would focus on the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), it soon became apparent Fantastic Beasts would cover the time when dark wizard Grindelwald terrorized the wizarding world.

Depp appeared at the tail end of the first Fantastic Beasts as Grindelwald before going on to have a bigger role in 2018's The Crimes of Grindelwald. He was poised to play this role for the entire franchise, but following Depp's loss of a libel case against a newspaper that called him a "wife-beater," Warner Bros. asked the actor to step down. Recasting efforts quickly got underway, and early reports suggested Mikkelsen was the frontrunner. Mikkelsen later refuted those claims, but now it's clear he was merely throwing fans off the scent.


Per IndieWire, Warner Bros. has officially confirmed Hannibal actor Mikkelsen will play Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 and beyond. The film is currently production at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden outside of London. Much of the Crimes of Grindelwald cast will return, including franchise mainstays Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Jude Law as the young Albus Dumbledore. Fantastic Beasts 3 is scheduled for release on July 15, 2022



Mikkelsen is best known for playing Hannibal Lecter on the NBC series Hannibal. Fantastic Beasts marks the latest major franchise Mikkelsen has joined, having already appeared in the MCU (as Doctor Strange villain Kaecilius), Star Wars (Rogue One's Galen Erso), and James Bond (Casino Royale villain Le Chiffre). As Mikkelsen has clearly shown his talent for the charismatic bad guy roles, there's little doubt he'll make an excellent Grindelwald. Now, it'll be interesting to how Depp's distinctive Grindelwald look gets applied to Mikkelsen.

All told, Depp's Fantastic Beasts exit and the casting of his replacement only took a handful of weeks, meaning production might not have been set back much (if at all). Nevertheless, Fantastic Beasts 3 has already been delayed from 2021 to 2022, meaning fans will have to wait even longer to see Mikkelsen as Grindelwald. Plot details for Fantastic Beasts 3 are still being kept under wraps, but it's certain there will be a time jump between it and The Crimes of Grindelwald, and that it will spend some time in Rio de Janiero. The Crimes of Grindelwald was dinged for its messy script and nonsensical twists, but only time will tell if Fantastic Beasts 3 can take some steps to make up for past mistakes.

Source: IndieWire
 
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