The other week came the news that Johnny Depp is set to co-star in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sequel following a rumored short appearance in the first film.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR “FANTASTIC BEASTS”
Now, further details of his role have come to light. Director David Yates has confirmed to The Leaky Cauldron that yes, Depp is indeed playing Gellert Grindelwald – effectively the Voldemort of the ‘Beasts’ series.
In the book history, Grindelwald, was a former close friend and even romantic crush of Albus Dumbledore until a falling out over the death of Dumbledore’s sister. The ‘Beasts’ films are set years after that event with Grindelwald now a dark revolutionary assembling an army and has recently gone missing from Europe after reigning terror with the Elder Wand which is in his possession. Yates explains why Depp was chosen:
“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.”
Yates adds that Ezra Miller’s character Credence plays a pivotal role in the follow-up as well: “We follow Credence further. He becomes quite pivotal actually, Credence is quite crucial.”