Warner Bros. Seems to Be Taking Coronavirus Less Seriously Than Disney: ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ Is Still on Schedule

While many TV shows and movies have suspended production, not all films and television shows are calling it quits amid the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Medical professionals have advised individuals to avoid gathering in large groups; thus, it should come as no surprise that production on a number of upcoming TV shows and films has been delayed. When you take into account all those who work on a movie set at once, “large group” doesn’t even begin to explain the quantity. 

Warner Bros Studios
The Warner Bros logo outside the Warner Bros Studio lot | Amy T. Zielinski/Getty Images

Disney has also pushed back release dates on several movies so that people do not feel compelled to visit theaters (and to protect producers’ pockets, as low box-office sales seem unavoidable right about now). Mulan, Antlers, and The New Mutants were all set to premiere quite soon, yet that is no longer the case. However, while Warner Bros. has suspended work on The Batman, it looks like Fantastic Beasts 3 is still expected to start filming this week. 

The movie is set to film in Rio de Janeiro, and while Brazil may not have as many confirmed cases as other places, it does not mean the reported number (last reported as slightly over 20) is accurate, and it does not mean it’s safe to film. 

The news surrounding ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’

Recently, several major news outlets reported that Fantastic Beasts 3 is set to begin filming Monday, March 16. Considering the movie isn’t set to premiere until the end of 2021 — sometime in November — the movie can handle a delay without pushing back the intended premiere.

It is normal to fear pushing back a premiere date as such is often chosen paying careful attention to season, competition, and several other external factors. Maybe the director doesn’t want to risk pushing back the movie’s debut; thus, the news suggests that Director David Yates intends to film — despite worldwide Coronavirus concerns. 

Is Warner Bros. making a careless decision? 

From Johnny Depp’s controversial appearance in the movie to the news that the film plans to continue on despite the current coronavirus pandemic, this movie already has a few negative factors — unrelated to film quality — going up against it. 

Hopefully, such decisions — for Warner Bros.’ sake — do not negatively impact ticket sales. However, the real question is: Is Warner Bros. sending the wrong message by continuing on? Should the studio delay production, as such major corporations can influence public opinion — leading some to believe that the risk factors are lower than they actually are? And, leading individuals to avoid heeding the advice of those more informed?

When looking at other movies and shows — A Quiet Place: Part 2, the next James Bond movie, and more — coronavirus has stopped production dead in its tracks, but as for Fantastic Beasts, it looks like those behind the film want the magic to live on; it looks like the beasts will be coming to life on schedule. Hopefully, all those involved in the project remain healthy if news regarding film delays does not surface soon.