In a rather stunning move in the current state of cinema, Warner Brothers have decided to give the third entry of the Wizarding World’s Fantastic Beasts series a boost by moving the film into an earlier release slot next year. While the third film was originally slated for a July 15th release date, it will now debut in theaters on April 15th, which happens to be Easter Weekend. This is a weekend that tends to be a big box office weekend. Also, with the announcement, the tweet revealed the official title: Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. David Yates is returning as the director with the series creator J.K. Rowling as screenplay writer and producer.
— Fantastic Beasts (@FantasticBeasts) September 22, 2021
The series has shifted away from those odd creatures, which were the focal point of the first film, and focused a bit more on the wizards and witches alongside them on screen. The title even indicates a turn towards the underlying plot of Grindelwald vs Dumbledore, which has been increasingly including Newt and his friends. This shift makes sense, with how the sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ended with Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore engineering a plan to break the blood pact that is literally keeping him from defeating Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald. At the same time, Grindelwald is using Ezra Miller’s Credence’s newfound Wizarding abilities and revealing to him that he is actually Aurelius Dumbledore, younger brother to the famous Hogwarts Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore. Now that we know the title to the follow-up film, it seems that they are going full-in on this connection and the haunted past that was mentioned (during the wedding scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1) about Albus Dumbledore’s siblings after his passing. If Rita’s Skeeter’s novel within Deathly Hallows (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore) is any indication, we are in for an adventure exploring his troubled history.
For a quick refresher, Albus’ younger sister Ariana is witnessed performing magic in front of Muggles. The confusion turns into a scuffle, and it ends with their father performing Hexes that result in his incarceration in Azkaban. After a while, Ariana is traumatized and has a magical outburst that accidentally kills the mother. At this point, Albus is head of household and meets Grindelwald who becomes very close with Albus. Grindelwald has had grand ambitions in taking over the Muggle world and shares it with Albus who slowly agrees. When the time to act on those ambitions comes, it results in a magical duel between Aberforth (Albus’ known and established younger brother) that ends with Ariana killed in a crossfire, uncertain of who dealt the final blow.
With the ending of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trying to lead us in believing there is another sibling, the title casually reveals just how significant Dumbledore/Grindelwald are to the actual Wizard world. As we know, they fought each other over the Elder Wand in their youth and as of now, Grindelwald is the one who holds it (yet we remember that Dumbledore was buried with it).
A few developments have changed throughout the release of the sequel and today’s announcements. Namely, Mads Mikkelsen taking over the Grindelwald role from Depp, and the collective return of the main and supporting characters including Eddie Redmayne as the always-grinning Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein portrayed by Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler as the lovable Muggle Jacob Kowalski, and Tina’s sister Queenie played by Alison Sudol. As well as the information from Deadline that some of the filming was taking place in Brazil with a specific setting in Rio de Janeiro, giving us another new location and hopefully a new school. With Ilvermorny being mentioned in the sequel, but Hogwarts being the one shown, one can hope more campuses are explored.
Fans will be thrilled to spend more magical time in The Wizarding World when the film releases on April 15th, 2022.