I’ve got a bit of a love hate relationship with Johnny Depp. Early on, he was great. Benny and Joon, Crybaby, Donnie Brasco, Blow, Edward Scissorhands… All great films. Then something happened. I’m not just talking about him selling his soul to Disney or apparently losing a serious of hilarious bets to Tim Burton. It just seems like he gave up and bought into his own hype. It’s because of that, that news of him joining the Potterverse doesn’t fill me with great excitement. He’s got the capacity to do some excellent acting, but it just doesn’t feel like he wants to any more.
So, who will Depp be playing? Gellert Grindelwald, the former friend/crush of Albus Dumbledore (they are currently looking for the right actor to fill those shoes). The news was confirmed by director David Yates, who is planning to return for the Fantastic Beasts sequel, his sixth film in the franchise.
“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.”
Beyond that, there’s very little that we know about the next film, save for the fact that Ezra Miller’s Credence will play a large role in the story, and that it will take place predominantly in the UK and France. The sequel will be part two in a five part story that’s already been mapped out by JK Rowling.