Last week it was announced that Johnny Depp would be swapping the high seas for the wizarding world, and rumours began to circulate that he would be playing Gellert Grindelwald; who was once friends with a young Albus Dumbledore before Grindelwald discovered a darker path.
Now it appears that the rumours have been confirmed by director David Yates and producer David Heyman. The pair seemed to break the news in an interview with The Leaky Cauldron, and they also confirmed that we will in fact see Depp in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which is released in cinemas on November 18.
Heyman and Yates talked of their shock that they were able to keep Depp’s appearance in the movie starring Eddie Redmayne a secret for so long; Heyman said “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.”
Their reasons for casting Depp were also explained, and the duo feel they have definitely chosen the right man for the role, due in part to Depp’s fearlessness at creating iconic characters such as Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, and The Mad Hatter. Yates said; “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.”
Heyman agreed with his director saying; “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.”
In the interview, the pair also said that the second movie in the series, which will be set in Paris, will not feature quite so many of the fantastical creatures and will be more about Grindelwald’s rise to power, which has been discussed in passing in the Harry Potter series. Yates did say that creatures will definitely feature due in no small part to how much they all love them and that we will get to meet at least one new creature; “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.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit cinemas on November 18, and it will definitely be interesting to see where the future movies will take us, and just how much of a bad guy Grindelwald really was.