Colin Farrell reportedly won’t return as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 because of The Batman

Fantastic Beasts Colin Farrell Grindelwald
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Fantastic Beasts 3 recently saw Johnny Depp depart the project after the Grindelwald actor was asked to resign by Warner Bros. after a court case. But the obvious (re-re)casting choice of Colin Farrell, who played the villainous wizard-in-disguise throughout much of the first Fantastic Beasts, is unlikely to come to fruition.

Variety reports that, because of Farrell’s work playing Oswald ‘Penguin’ Cobblepot on The Batman, he’s not going to be available for Fantastic Beasts 3 filming. Farrell – who stunned fans with his unrecognisable look as Penguin in The Batman trailer at DC’s FanDome event – had previously said he expects to be filming into 2021.

Update: Mads Mikkelsen has reportedly entered talks to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3. Read more through that link.

What that means for the future of Grindelwald is unclear – Fantastic Beasts 2 ended with him plotting and scheming alongside Dumbledore’s long-lost brother, Aurelius. The character has transfigured and disguised himself before, with Grindelwald taking on the face of ‘Percival Graves’ (Colin Farrell). It stands to reason he could do so again with another actor.

Either way, we’ll find out a little later than originally planned. The Fantastic Beasts 3 release date has now been moved from November 21, 2021 to nearly eight months later on July 15, 2022.

Depp, meanwhile, actually filmed a scene for Fantastic Beasts 3 and will be paid an “eight-figure salary” according to THR despite leaving production.

The Batman itself is currently still filming – and, while new set photos and videos haven’t shown Farrell, there are shots of Batman and Catwoman racing through Gotham.

For more on what’s coming out soon, check out our guide to 2020 and 2021 movie release dates.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.