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Fantastic Beasts 3 release date, cast, Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, plot and more

Fantastic Beasts 3 movie with Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Fantastic Beasts 3 is ready for another round, courtesy of Mads Mikkelsen. The Harry Potter spinoff franchise has recast Grindelwad, replacing Johnny Depp with Mikkelson (who recently turned in a memorable performance in the Oscar-winning Another Round). The rest of the cast will be back, though, including Eddie Redmayne Newt Scamander and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 follows the 2016 first film and 2018's Crimes of Grindelwald. The franchise follows the adventures of Newt and magical friends in the Harry Potter universe, several decades before the Boy Who Lived discovered he was a wizard.

The spinoffs have been a success, grossing nearly $1.5 billion at the global box office. And they've proven that the Harry Potter universe can be extended beyond adaptions of the original book series.

Here's everything we know so far about Fantastic Beasts 3.

Fantastic Beasts 3 release date

The current Fantastic Beasts 3 release date is July 15, 2022. 

The movie's initial release date was Nov. 12, 2021. However, Warner Bros.' decision to recast Depp as well as the coronavirus pandemic led the studio to push the date back. That means four years will have passed since the second film, Crimes of Grindelwald.

Fantastic Beasts 3 cast 

The cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 is led by Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a British Ministry of Magic employee in the Beasts Division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.

Jude Law also stars as a younger Albus Dumbledore, who was played by Richard Harris and Michael Gambon in the Harry Potter movies. Law's version is a professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

They are joined by Mads Mikkelsen, a new cast member, as Gellert Grindelwald. More on him below.

Other Fantastic Beasts 3 cast members include:

  • Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, an auror with the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) and Newt's eventual wife.
  • Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj friend of Newt and bakery owner
  • Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Tina's sister and a powerful Legilimens who takes Grindelwald's side
  • Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone / Aurelius Dumbledore, the disturbed adopted child of Mary-Lou Barebone and lost brother of Albus
  • Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, Newt's older brother and employee in the British Ministry of Magic. Former fiancee of Leta Lestrange
  • William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama, a French-Senegalese wizard
  • Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy, a former employee at MACUSA
  • Poppy Corby-Tuech as Vinda Rosier, a loyal follower of Grindelwald
  • Jessica Williams as Professor Eulalie "Lally" Hicks, a professor of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
  • Victoria Yeates as Bunty, Newt's assistant
  • Oliver Masucci as Head of the International Confederation of Wizards

Fantastic Beasts 3 Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts 3 is recasting the role of Gellert Grindelwald. The dark wizard will now be played by Mads Mikkelsen, a Danish actor and former gymnast most famous in the U.S. for starring in the series Hannibal. He recently earned a BAFTA nomination for Another Round, which won Best International Film at the 2021 Oscars. 

Mikkelsen replaces Johnny Depp, who was asked by Warner Bros. to step down after he lost a libel lawsuit. He had sued British tabloid The Sun for calling him a "wife beater," in the contentious fallout after his divorce from Amber Heard.

Depp resigned at Warner Bros.' request after having filmed one scene as Grindelwald. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he will still be paid his full salary, however, to fulfill the terms of his contract.

Mikkelsen recently spoke to GamesRadar about taking over the role and revealed that filming has wrapped. 

"We’ve wrapped it up. Obviously I have only been part of it for half the time that the rest of the gang has. It was a lovely experience," he said. "I think they had a really great script; a great, solid story."

Mikkelsen knows a little something about making a character his own, following another actor. After all, it's not easy playing Hannibal after Anthony Hopkins. 

"This is obviously a more direct comparison because it’s the next film," Mikkelsen explained. "So we have done a few bridges that will allow us to recognize it, but we’ve also said we have to make it our own. I have been a fan of Johnny Depp since I saw him as a young man, and to try to bring his intensity and his way of doing it into my work is a no-go. I have to find my own, because his is unique, and I just have to let that be, and find a different path."

Fantastic Beasts 3 plot and timeline

Not a ton is known about the plot Fantastic Beasts 3, but an interview, cast member Dan Fogler revealed that the movie takes place partly in Brazil. He also teased that it's set in 1939 before World War II. 

The first film was set in 1926 in New York, while the second film took place in 1927, mostly in Paris. If Fantastic Beasts 3 does take place in 1939, that's quite a time jump. But the franchise does need to get to 1945, which is the year of Grindelwald and Dumbledore's infamous duel. 

The Crimes of Grindelwald ended with the dark wizard using the fear of a world war to gather more followers to his cause. Two of those followers are Queen and Credence (for different reasons). Added to all this is that one of Newt's Niffler friends stole the blood pact between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. 

Fantastic Beasts 3 could build on this and show that Grindelwald has amassed quite a lot of power in five to six years and has stoked fears to the point of WWII. Maybe he's behind the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. Meanwhile, we may see Newt and his friends searching the world for the blood pact so that Dumbledore is released from it and can eventually duel Grindelwald.