The next Harry Potter movie is coming sooner than we thought. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in theaters on April 15, 2022, rather than July, Warner Bros. announced on Wednesday.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be written by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates, just like the other two movies in the series. The series will also continue to star Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander and will likely bring back Jude Law, as a young Albus Dumbledore.
[Ed. note: The rest of this post contains spoilers about 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.]
The Secrets of Dumbledore — an almost impossibly over-the-top subtitle, even by Harry Potter standards — will be the third film in the Fantastic Beasts series. For those who might not remember, the second movie (The Crimes of Grindelwald) ended very precariously with a massive reveal that Credence Barebone, who is now working with Grindelwald, is actually Albus Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius.
Now, does this technically invalidate most of Dumbledore’s storyline in the original series? Yes. But who cares, no one made you watch these movies.
Anyway, this cliffhanger leaves us with a few possibilities for the Secrets of Dumbledore title. On the one hand, it could mean that Albus Dumbledore knew he had a secret brother. It could also mean that Aurelius is the secret of the Dumbledore family and Albus had no idea. Or maybe, it could also mean that Aurelius’ secret is that he isn’t really a Dumbledore — thus keeping the original Harry Potter canon mostly intact.
Either way, this movie’s almost certainly going to give us some insight into the Dumbledore family and some of the murky and questionable history behind Harry’s favorite Hogwarts Headmaster.
Of course, canonical confusion isn’t even close to the biggest controversy that has surrounded the Fantastic Beasts series since the last movie was released in 2018.
Despite the alleged domestic violence report, and legal case, surrounding Johnny Depp since he was first cast in the Fantastic Beasts series, fans and critics increased pressure on Warner Bros. to remove him from the series and recast the role of Grindelwald. In 2020, it was announced the Mads Mikkelsen will take over the role from Depp. On top of that, Rowling herself continues to be a figure of frustration for many fans for her outspoken transphobic views.
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.