Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Johnny Depp has come aboard to play the notorious dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in a small cameo appearance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, before returning with a much larger role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2. Now that the movie has arrived in theaters with Thursday sneak preview screenings, producer David Heyman and director David Yates revealed new details about why Johnny Depp was cast, and the sequel itself.
CinemaBlend recently spoke with David Heyman, who produced all of the original Harry Potter movies, about this new spinoff. The producer revealed that they were looking for an actor with several distinct qualities, and Johnny Depp fit the bill in every way. Here's what he had to say about his casting.
"One of the things about Johnny is that he's an artist, he's a great actor, he has created iconic characters, he's played those parts in a surprising way. And I think that's what we wanted. We wanted someone with authority and charm, who could seduce you in one hand but kill you in the other, and who would be surprising. Who is a great actor, who you could imagine in the world."
In the original Harry Potter stories, Gellert Grindelwald was mentioned as a former friend of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore, who had an interest in finding the Deathly Hallows at one point in time. They were both instrumental in the International Statute of Secrecy, which allowed both the wizarding world and the muggle world to co-exist in secret. Director David Yates confirmed during a recent fan event that Grindelwald will be featured in the background of Fantastic Beasts, and it is believed that he will have a much larger role in Fantastic Beasts 2. The director, who has already been confirmed to direct Fantastic Beasts 2, also spoke quite highly of Johnny Depp.
"When you think of all the actors that are fearless, that are real artists, who in their career have created characters that have become a firm part of our culture, it's quite a short list. And you think of an actor that's going to come at it with a real sense of ambition -- fierce ambition. And Johnny just kind of felt like a natural fit for all of that. And it's a big pair of shoes to fill. And we were all very excited about him joining the film."
Fantastic Beasts 2 will shift the action from New York City to Paris, but not much else has been revealed about the story. Warner Bros. recently confirmed that this franchise has expanded from a trilogy to five movies. Now that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has hit theaters, hopefully we'll learn more about Fantastic Beasts 2 in the very near future.