The mainline Harry Potter film franchise might have long been over, but Warner Bros. Pictures has kept the series going with spin-offs.
In particular, Warner Bros. has released a pair of movies as part of the Fantastic Beasts series, which centers around the adventures of Newt Scamander, Luna Lovegood's grandfather-in-law. However, the "mild" success of 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - the film made $654.9 million in the box office against a $200 million budget, which is the lowest box office take in the franchise - made audiences worry if the supposedly five-film series would continue.
With that said, we've now got confirmation that the Fantastic Beasts series will live on. Not only that, but Potterheads received good news when Warner Bros. confirmed that the third film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, will release on April 15, 2022.
The story of Fantastic Beasts so far - SPOILER ALERT!
Just as the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, J.K. Rowling will return to write the story for The Secrets of Dumbledore. David Yates is also back on the director's chair. We can also expect Eddie Redmayne to reprise his role as Newt Scamander along with Jude Law's Albus Dumbledore.
As for the actual story of Secrets of Dumbledore, we can expect it to follow up on the shocking reveal at the end of The Crimes of Grindelwald where audiences found out that Credence Barebone is, in fact, Aurelius Dumbledore, Albus' long-lost brother. This leaves us with several possible storylines that the upcoming film could pursue. For example, the title could allude to how Albus did not know about his secret brother and that Aurelius is the dark secret that the Dumbledore family is trying to keep.
Of course, if J.K. Rowling intends to keep the original Harry Potter canon intact (well, mostly), the ideal route is to confirm that Aurelius isn't actually part of the Dumbledore family. But, then again, this is J.K. Rowling's story, so who are we to say what's canon and what's not?
In other Harry Potter news, fans had two other reasons to worry about the future of the Fantastic Beasts series. The first is the recasting of Johnny Depp. Depp took on the role of the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, in the first two Fantastic Beasts films. Unfortunately, due to the backlash from the reports of alleged domestic violence against Depp, Warner Bros. decided to remove the Pirates of the Caribbean actor from the series. In 2020, the studio replaced Depp with Mads Mikkelson. Meanwhile, the second is Rowling's outspoken transphobic views, which the developers of Hogwarts Legacy has tried to distance itself from.
Having said that, Secrets of Dumbledore is a sure thing now. All fans can do is wait and hope that the upcoming film matches up to the standards set by the original Harry Potter films. Luckily, the Harry Potter spin-off will be aided by a theater-exclusive release in 2022, so its box office take should be much higher than Warner Bros. 2021 films.