Warner Bros. has halted production on Fantastic Beasts 3 and King Richard over coronavirus concerns. These Warner Bros. projects are just the most recent ones the studio has shuttered. Just a few days earlier, on Saturday, March 14, Warner Bros. also shut down filming on The Batman in the UK.
Deadline was the first to report on Warner Bros. shuttering of production on Fantastic Beasts 3 and King Richard. The third Fantastic Beasts film was just about to begin filming in London. Variety reports the feature was set to use the same sound stage as The Batman once the latter film moved filming to Liverpool, with Warner Bros. seemingly waiting to shut things down on Fantastic Beasts 3 until they knew what to do about The Batman. Fantastic Beasts 3 will feature returning franchise stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler, in the continuing Harry Potter spin-off saga following creature-loving wizard Newt Scamander (Redmayne) and his friends taking on the no-good, very bad Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). Plot details are scarce but the film’s action is said to take place in Brazil. David Yates will also return to direct. Meanwhile, filming on King Richard was just gearing up to begin in Los Angeles following weather-related delays a week ago. Starring Will Smith and Jon Bernthal, King Richard will follow the rise of Richard Williams, father to tennis pros Venus and Serena, as his daughters rise to prominence in the tennis world. For now, it’s unclear how long production will be delayed on both films and whether this will affect each film’s respective scheduled release date.
Update:Shortly after news broke that Warner Bros. had shut down production on Fantastic Beasts 3 and King Richard, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed production on The Matrix 4 will shut down in Berlin. THR notes no filming was being done at the time at the Berlin location, just production prep. Previously, we’d reported it was unclear what Warner Bros. decision on The Matrix 4 would be as they shuttered various other projects worldwide.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is still scheduled for release on November 12, 2021. King Richard is still set to debut on November 25, 2020.