The third installment in the five-movie "Fantastic Beasts" franchise has a release date and a new screenwriter.
While the previous two films, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "The Crimes of Grindelwald," were solely scripted by "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling, the author will be getting co-byline with Steve Kloves, who helped adapt the original "Harry Potter" books into films.
It's not entirely surprising that Kloves has been added as a writer for "Fantastic Beasts 3." Critics painted "The Crimes of Grindelwald" as having "glimmers of the magic" from the original "Harry Potter" films but not being quite as enchanting as its predecessors. That sentiment was also felt by fans, who balked at several canon-altering plot points and a "hollow and disconnected" story.
The film holds an underwhelming 37% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Not only that, but "The Crimes of Grindelwald" had the lowest box-office haul in the U.S. and internationally of any "Harry Potter" film. It made only $160 million domestically and just under $500 million in foreign markets. While the international box office helped boost the film over its $200 million production budget, it's a paltry showing compared with the rest of the franchise.
Comparatively, moviegoers worldwide shelled out more than $814 million to see "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" in 2016 and $1.3 billion in 2011 to see the final film in the original series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."
While many had speculated that the third film would appear in theaters in November 2020, two years after "The Crimes of Grindelwald," Warner Bros. slated its "Dune" remake for that box-office slot. Instead, "Fantastic Beasts 3" will begin shooting in the spring of 2020 and arrive in theaters on Nov. 12, 2021.
David Yates directed "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "The Crimes of Grindelwald" and will direct the remaining three films in this new series. He directed the final four Harry Potter films.
The film will be set in Rio de Janeiro and feature Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore and Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. Also returning is Ezra Miller (Credence/Aurelius Dumbledore), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) and Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein).
Jessica Williams will reprise her role as Professor Eulalie 'Lally' Hicks, a teacher at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the American equivalent of Hogwarts.
Disclosure: Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC, owns Rotten Tomatoes. NBCUniversal licenses the rights to "Harry Potter" at its theme parks.
Correction: This story has been corrected to indicate that David Yates directed "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "The Crimes of Grindelwald" and will direct the remaining three films in this new series.