The newest shooting start for Fantastic Beasts 3 has been revealed by star Dan Fogler, who revisits No-Maj baker Jacob Kowalski under returning screenwriter and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and director David Yates. Originally planned for a July shooting start before filming was pushed back to late autumn, Fantastic Beasts 3 will now head in front of cameras in early 2020. According to a January report, studio Warner Bros. approved the delay to give the Crimes of Grindelwald sequel more prep time. In April, Warner Bros. shifted its release date from November 20, 2020 to November 12, 2021.
“We haven’t started filming yet. We start in February,” Fogler said onstage at LeakyCon 2019 Boston. “Last we heard, J.K. … she’s been writing furiously, everyone was really happy with what she submitted, and we’re all just waiting for the new script. And that’s where we’re at.”
A noticeably slimmer Fogler added he’s yet to receive a script, but he hopes Jacob is reunited with witch girlfriend Queenie (Alison Sudol), who was last seen joining dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) when promised a future with the Muggle Jacob.
“I hope that he gets Queenie back. … I haven’t seen a script yet, and I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, and I think it will be funny if — you know how she put a spell on me to follow her around like a puppy? What if she also put a spell on me to get fit?” Fogler said with a laugh. “So there’s that. But also, 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.”
Fogler previously said the delay was due to the film being “gigantic.”
“The reason we were given is that the movie is bigger than the first two combined. They needed more time to prep and they didn’t want to rush anything so they pushed it back,” he told HeyUGuys in February. “I can tell you that we are going to Brazil. I don’t really know much… [laughs]. I’ll get a script closer to when we start shooting.”
After Crimes of Grindelwald emerged as the first entry in the Harry Potter/Wizarding World franchise to receive a “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, grossing $652 million worldwide — a franchise low — then-Warner Bros. president Kevin Tsujihara said the studio was taking the proper steps to ensure the third film in the planned five-movie spinoff series would “get it right.”
“The second film didn’t perform as well as the first, but I think we know what we need to do to get the third film hopefully even better than the first one,” Tsujihara told the Los Angeles Times in February. “And J.K. Rowling is really working hard now on that third script, and we’re going to get it right. She has an incredible vision of where she wants to go with this that is incredibly exciting. The hardest part of the franchise is you have such a big core fan base. That fan base really knows the lore and they want to go deep into these characters. But what you don’t want to do is intimidate people. You want to be able to create a stand-alone movie that’s enjoyable for someone who isn’t steeped in the lore.”
The untitled third Fantastic Beasts film opens November 12, 2021.