The next Harry Potter film will arrive sooner than we expected. Warner Bros. announced on Wednesday that Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in theatres on April 15, 2022, rather than July.
J.K. Rowling will write and direct Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, as she did the previous two films in the series. Eddie Redmayne will reprise his role as Newt Scamander, and Jude Law will most likely reprise his role as a young Albus Dumbledore.
[Ed. note: The rest of this post contains spoilers about 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.]
The third film in the Fantastic Beasts series, The Secrets of Dumbledore — an almost impossibly over-the-top subtitle, even by Harry Potter standards — will be released in November. For those who don’t recall, the second film (The Crimes of Grindelwald) ended on a cliffhanger with the shocking revelation that Credence Barebone, who is now working for Grindelwald, is actually Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius.
Is most of Dumbledore’s storyline in the original series now technically invalid? Yes. But who cares, you weren’t forced to watch these films.
In any case, the cliffhanger leaves us with a few options for the title Secrets of Dumbledore. On one hand, it’s possible that Albus Dumbledore was aware of his secret brother. It’s also possible that Aurelius is the Dumbledore family’s secret, and Albus is unaware of it. It’s also possible that Aurelius’ secret is that he isn’t a Dumbledore at all, which would keep the original Harry Potter canon mostly intact.
In any case, the Dumbledore family and some of the murky and questionable history surrounding Harry’s favourite Hogwarts Headmaster will almost certainly be explored in this film.
Of course, canonical ambiguity isn’t even close to the most divisive issue that has engulfed the Fantastic Beasts franchise since the final film was released in 2018.
Despite the alleged domestic violence report and legal case that has surrounded Johnny Depp since his casting in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, fans and critics have increased pressure on Warner Bros. to remove him from the series and recast the role of Grindelwald. Mads Mikkelsen will take over the role from Depp in 2020, according to reports. Furthermore, because of her outspoken transphobic views, Rowling remains a source of frustration for many fans.
While Warner Bros. has released all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max and in theaters, that’s changing next year, so you’ll have to venture to a theater to see The Secrets of Dumbledore when it’s released on April 15, 2022.