When news broke that Johnny Depp would not only cameo in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them but also appear in its sequel, it led to the speculation that he would be playing Grindelwald. A majority of social media were unhappy with this idea, but the die had already been cast. With four more sequels on the way, we know that Grindelwald’s relationship with Dumbledore, who is being cast as we speak, will play a key role in Fantastic Beasts 2.
Now there is confirmation that Depp will, in fact, be playing as Grindelwald. Check out the full story below.
Director David Yates confirmed the news to The Leaky Cauldron, and he explained why he went with Depp as opposed to anyone else:
“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.”
Producer David Heyman then chimed in by saying that the role of Grindelwald couldn’t go to just any actor:
“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.”
At least Yates is willing to acknowledge that Depp does come with some baggage. While there is no denying that the actor has the talent, his choice of roles as of late have been downright questionable. So hopefully a change from being Captain Jack Sparrow or The Mad Hatter is a step in the right direction. Yates directed the last four Harry Potter films, so I am a little bit confident in the casting decision.
The casting and plot details for the sequel also seems to indicate that Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has already found all the beasts he needed to find, to which Yates would agree, to a certain degree:
“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.”
“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.”
As far as where Fantastic Beasts 2 goes from here, Yates said that the sequel will cross the Atlantic and return to where it all began:
“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.”
Check out the full interview over at The Leaky Cauldron.
Starring 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 opens in theaters on November 28, 2016.