After news broke that Johnny Depp would be joining the sequel for the upcoming Harry Potter prequel spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, speculation on the internet began to run wild as to who Depp would join the wizarding world as. Rumors pointed to the character of Gellert Grindelwald, the former friend, and love of Albus Dumbledore who was rumored to play a large role in the franchise moving forward.
It turns out the rumors are true. Director David Yates confirmed Depp would indeed play Grindelwald when speaking with The Leaky Cauldron (h/t Collider) and explained why they felt it was important for Depp to fill the role.
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.
Personally, the news of this casting doesn’t do much for me. Depp has been rather one note for the better part of the last decade, however. Depp’s earlier work does make him sound like a perfect fit for the personality of Grindelwald.
The character won’t appear until the second entry in the new Harry Potter prequel series which is currently set to cap at five films. Being that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to kick off the new series, it would make sense for the film to include some sort of set up or at the very least an easter egg nodding to the characters inclusion in the following films so keep your eyes peeled when you go to see the film next weekend.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) 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 (Dan Fogler), 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.
SOURCE: THE LEAKY CAULDRON