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Johnny Depp’s role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been confirmed

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A few days ago I shared the news that Johnny Depp had been cast in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. He also turns up briefly in the first film.

Spoilers Ahead.

There was rumours on who he was playing, but now it has been confirmed.

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David Yates and David Heyman told The Leaky Cauldron that he will be playing Grindelwald, and were surprised that the secret hadn’t been leaked sooner.

“We filmed early,” they both said. “I was amazed,” Heyman added. ”It was completely bonkers. I was convinced it [would be leaked] you can keep very few secrets nowadays, especially something like that! When he came to Leavesden and we filmed for two days…and it didn’t come out. That’s mad.”

“Sworn to secrecy,” David Yates added.

Yates explained why they chose Depp, “the whole principal of casting the movie was go with the best actor. Go for the most inspired, interesting, right fit for that character. And as we approached Grindelwald we thought, ‘who’s going to take this in an interesting direction?’ In this business, it’s a weird old business. You’re brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down. But no one takes away your pure talent.”

“Johnny Depp is a real artist. He’s created several characters who have really resonated in our popular culture. He’s a really brilliant, brilliant actor. We were excited about seeing what he would do with this guy, the character. He’s fearless; he’s imaginative; he’s ambitious. We thought he would do something fun and special. So we went for him, purely on that selfish basis. We don’t care if he’s famous or not famous. We just know he’s interesting.”

Heyman added, “Grindelwald is an iconic character, so it was important to have someone who had that weight. There’s a reason why he has that weight. It’s because, you know, he’s a fine actor who makes unexpected choices.”

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Directed by David Yates, the film stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo, Jenn Murray, Faith Wood-Blagrove and Colin Farrell.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens on 18th November 2016.

More Fantastic Beasts coverage

David Yates also confirmed that the focus will move a little away from the Beasts in the sequel, “currently the beasts feature slightly less in the second film, and Grindelwald takes more of a foreground. Currently. But we love the beasts so much. There’s an amazing beast in the second movie–a Chinese beast, actually–that is featured. We’re exploring how we can get a couple more beasts into the second film, with Jo.”

Heyman went on to say, “In a way the beasts are the creatures in the case. But it’s also the beast in each of us. I think beasts will continue to play a part in some score. It’s also so much a part of what Jo writes about. It’s the consequences of repression.”

Yates also went on to confirm that Dumbledore will be in the sequel and gave on update on where it will be set. “In the second movie Dumbledore comes back… no it’s not going to be Michael Gambon. No, we need a younger Dumbledore.”

“We do go back to the U.K. in the second film as well–it’s U.K. and Paris. I’m not sure where Jo is setting the rest of the movies, but they’ll be European-centric. I think it will be difficult to ignore America, but the next one is predominately Europe.”

What are your thoughts on Depp playing Grindelwald?

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