Warner Bros. has announced that it will be delaying the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3, from November 12, 2021, to the summer of 2022. Variety reports that no exact release date has yet been given. The announcement of Fantastic Beasts 3's delay comes on the heels of the major news that Warner Bros. asked franchise star Johnny Depp to resign from the role of Fantastic Beasts' big bad, Gellert Grindelwald. Depp has indeed resigned from the role, which will now need to be recast. That setback along with delays in production from the COVID-19 pandemic has now forced the studio to rethink its timeline.
Warner Bros. released a statement regarding Fantastic Beasts 3, stating: 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."
And here's the statement Johnny Depp posted about his resignation from Fantastic Beasts 3:
"In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement," Depp's statement reads. "Firstly, I'd like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.
I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request," he added, saying that "the surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth, and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time."
The previous film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, saw the threat of Gellert Grindelwald fully emerge in the pre-WWII era of the Wizarding World. As Grindelwald's forces convene, the most pivotal piece of the evil wizard's plan is Credence (Ezra Miller), the boy with a powerful Obscurus parasite inside of him. Crimes of Grindelwald ended on the reveal from Grindelwald that Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore, Albus Dumbledore's long-lost brother.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 will now arrive in Summer 2022.