Early this morning, it was announced by Warner Bros. via The Hollywood Reporter that they’ve paused filming on Fantastic Beasts 3 due to COVID-19, production was taking place at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in Watford, England. An undisclosed person working on the film has tested positive (likely because of the extra contagiousness of the UK variant) and are halting production for the time being. Their timeline for the small shutdown wasn’t given but we’ve seen similar shoots in the UK pause for two weeks (14-days) after positive tests.
“A team member from Fantastic Beasts 3 has tested positive for COVID-19,” Warner Bros. told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement, without confirming the team member’s identity. “The diagnosis was confirmed as a result of required and ongoing testing that all production employees receive, and the team member is currently in isolation. Out of an abundance of caution, Fantastic Beasts 3 paused production and will be back up in accordance with safety guidelines.”
Using the term “team member” is likely to prevent people from knowing if the person in question is part of the cast or on the crew.
The UK government has decided that while the new contagious strain of the virus is dangerous it’s apparently still a good idea to keep having large groups of people working on film and television sets. I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if we end up seeing more of these pauses in the coming months and into the summer.
Production on Fantastic Beasts 3 started in September after the pandemic delayed it’s early 2020 shoot, they also replaced Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen as the franchise’s villain, Gallert Grindelwald. Last year, during the shoot for The Batman, Robert Pattinson tested positive for COVID-19 leading to that production being paused until it was safe for the actor to return to work. Jurassic World: Dominion also had to pause filming as well.
Two more Fantastic Beasts sequels are in development stages.
The studio recently bumped the release date to July 15th, 2022 allowing them some wiggle-room for future production delays like this.
SOURCE: THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER