‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Shake-Up: Johnny Depp Exits, Release Delayed

UPDATE (11-25-20) – It has been confirmed by Deadline that Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3. See the original story below.


It’s been quite a day, Potterheads. Depending on your perspective, at least part of this could be good news. Either way, the future of Fantastic Beasts 3 has been changed.

The first news to drop today was from ComicBook.com, which confirmed that Johnny Depp has exited the upcoming sequel. It’s no secret that Depp has had some personal and legal issues lately (to put it mildly, but I won’t get into that here.) The report reveals that Warner Bros. asked Depp to leave the role of Grindelwald, which he has done. So, what does that mean for the future of this spinoff movie franchise?

The next shoe to drop today was that Fantastic Beasts 3 has now been delayed by Warner Bros. This likely means one of two things. The most likely possibility is that the role of Grindelwald will simply be re-cast (check your DMs, Colin Farrell.) The other less likely option is to find a way to write out the character and move on. That seems like more trouble than it’s worth, so I fully suspect that a re-casting announcement is upcoming.

You could argue that this is all happening at a perfect time for Warner Bros. Think about it, everything is being moved and delayed right now anyway. Who knows when the theatrical release schedule will get back to normal, if ever. This allows WB to take their time with this third installment, and gives them an extra option beyond 2021, which can’t hurt at this point. As a matter of fact, Variety says to expect Fantastic Beasts 3 in the summer of 2022.

More on this as it develops.

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures