With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald about to hit theaters on Nov. 16, die-hard fans of the Potterverse are already clamoring to know more about author J.K. Rowling's latest peek into the wizarding world outside of Hogwarts. But asking whether there will be a Fantastic Beasts 3 is too shortsighted a question for a visionary planner like Rowling — she's got an entire world of films sketched for this particular arc of magical mayhem. And the wait shouldn't be too long.
From the red-carpet premiere of the first Fantastic Beasts film, Variety reported that J.K. Rowling dropped three bombs in 30 seconds: confirming that there were five films coming instead of a trilogy (and hinting that there might possibly be more pending story density), suggesting she'd be writing and director David Yates would be directing the entirety of them, and confirming the arc would span 19 years. Whether or not the number of Newt Scamander stories surpasses five remains to be seen, but even if the films get cut short to a trilogy, #3's existence is assured.
Considering the wild popularity of the Harry Potter films and welcome reception of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, nothing seems to stand in the way of the planned sequels...except possibly their casting choices. Following accusations of abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard (which Johnny Depp has denied), the announcement of his sizable role as the villainous wizard Grindelwald caused outcry among fans, with many threatening to boycott future films were the part not recast, according to The Telegraph. Fans may have to make good on those threats, as in speaking with Collider, Depp confirmed his appearance in the third film, saying working on the second "was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year."
In more upbeat news, Rowling, who's fond of rewarding fans with dropped hints and Easter eggs, may have tipped her hand as to the location of the third film on twitter, when a curious reader asked about her new background header. Confirming it was Brazil's Rio in the 1930s, she misspelled the city as "Rio da Janero. She apologized, and followed up with, "Let’s just say I really ought to be able to spell Rio de Janeiro properly, given how many times I’ve written/typed it in the last few months." Rumors have swirled that Rowling already dropped all five future locations in a previous tweet, but this news is far more specific.
Also rumored is Ezra Miller's third appearance as the tortured Credence Barebone. Variety noted the shoot date of Miller's standalone Flash film was pushed back from its planned March start to a later date, causing scheduling headaches as the third Fantastic Beasts begins shooting in July. This wouldn't be a problem...unless Miller was supposed to show up to both films.
One thing's confirmed — Rowling herself will pen the remainder of the series, or at least have 100 percent approval over whoever does — a 2013 Hollywood Reporter look at the nuts and bolts of her first screenwriting contract noted that "Warners cannot hire someone else to rewrite her script without her approval," a gamble for the studio and a departure from the Potter films, which were written by such seasoned scribes as Steve Kloves and Michael Goldenberg. Rowling also has script approval on subsequent Fantastic Beasts films." That's an uncommon amount of power for a screenwriter to yield, but Rowling's proven her words are (literally) good as gold for getting fans into theaters.
As of right now, Fantastic Beasts 3 — actually title to be determined — is slated for a November 2020 release.