OK, just how many Fantastic Beasts films are actually in the works? Warner Bros. released the official trailer for the third film in the franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, on Dec. 13, 2021. Are there more follow-up films planned?
There's actually been a game plan set for the amount of Fantastic Beasts films since 2016. However, we have to wonder if that same game plan is still going to occur, given controversies surrounding the franchise. Let's explain.
'Fantastic Beasts' was planned as a five-film series.
According to the Harry Potter Wiki, J.K. Rowling announced in 2016 that the Fantastic Beasts film series would be five films in total. Rowling co-wrote the script for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore with Steve Kloves. A December 2021 report from Digital Spy also corroborated the five-film plan. There is no confirmed release date for the fourth and fifth films as of yet.
However, we do know when Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will release in theaters. The third Fantastic Beasts film will release in U.S. theaters on April 15, 2022. The U.K. will get to see it a week earlier, starting on April 8, 2022.
Rowling courted controversy again the same day the 'Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore' trailer was released.
On the same day that the official Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore trailer was released, Rowling set Twitter alight once again with a single tweet. Rowling retweeted an article from The Times UK about how police in Scotland have been criticized for "saying they will record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker 'identifies as female.'"
Rowling added her own comment to her retweet with The Times UK article, adding: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. The penised individual who raped you is a woman."
Rowling has played with fire in the past on Twitter, publishing content and tweets that many devoted Harry Potter fans viewed as extremely transphobic. Some Twitter users even wondered if Rowling strategically posted her commentary on the aforementioned article to drum up more attention for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. This is all, of course, pure speculation and not confirmed facts.
Regardless of the aforementioned speculation regarding Rowling's Twitter timing, it appears that Rowling's own personal controversy has yet to put the fate of the fourth and fifth films in the Fantastic Beasts franchise in peril (as of Dec. 14, 2021 anyway).
See you back at the Wizarding World in two years?
Although there are no confirmed release dates or even titles for the fourth and fifth Fantastic Beasts films, we can presume that there will be at least a two-year wait for each forthcoming film. According to the same Digital Spy report, Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore was originally planned to be released in November 2021, but it was pushed back due to COVID-19 pandemic-related delays. Filming officially wrapped on Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore in February 2021.
Given that timeline, we think it's safe to assume that filming hasn't even begun on the fourth Fantastic Beasts film. Will audience goers still be willing to go see Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore after yet another J.K. Rowling controversy and Johnny Depp's re-casting? We'll just have to wait for the box office numbers to find out.