‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ release date moved up

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is expanding.

The third installment of the film franchise’s prequel series “Fantastic Beasts” is coming to theaters sooner than expected.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” will now debut in cinemas on April 15, 2022. The fantasy flick was originally scheduled for a July 15 release.

The official title and release date were announced via the film’s Instagram account on Wednesday. The prequel series is set several decades before Harry, Ron and Hermione enter the would of wizardry. The films focus on Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), who becomes a close friend of a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law).

“Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world,” the official longline for the film states, according to Variety. “Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?”

“Fantastic Beasts 3” will premiere in April 2022.
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The third “Fantastic Beasts” movie follows 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and 2018’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

The third flick caused some chatter in the “Harry Potter” fandom in November when Johnny Depp departed the Warner Bros. production. The 58-year-old actor, who played the villain Gellert Grindelwald, exited the series after he lost his libel case against U.K. publication The Sun. The outlet published an article in 2018 that labeled him as a “wife-beater.”

Mads Mikkelsen is replacing Depp as Grindelwald, joining actors Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler and Jessica Williams.

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” megastar is still getting paid for the third “Fantastic Beasts” film, despite his firing. Depp will get paid over $10 million for one tiny scene in the new movie.