There’s some big news for Harry Potter fans out today–Johnny Depp has been cast in the next Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie. The first one isn’t even out yet, but maybe they’re ramping up hype for the November 18 release by dropping the news early?
Fantastic Beasts is the latest Harry Potter spin-off, and Warner Bros. has recently revealed they plan on doing a full five movies. The story centers on the life of author Newt Scamander, played by Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, as he ventures to New York in an attempt to research magical creatures.
These movies will be set quite a bit before the tale of Harry Potter and his comrades–seventy years earlier, in fact. So unless Harry Potter decides to use a time-turner (those are highly regulated, keep in mind), he definitely won’t be making an appearance in these films.
So while Daniel Radcliffe may be out, Johnny Depp is now in! Fans are anxiously trying to figure out which character Depp will be playing, and there’s been some mixed reactions overall to his casting. Since he and Helena Bonham Carter are known for being in many of the same films, some people are joking that since she already played Bellatrix Lestrange, it was only a matter of time before Depp had to make an appearance.
The common theory so far is that Johnny Depp will be playing a character called Gellert Grindelwald. Though not a ton is known about him, he is mentioned in the Harry Potter books and had a big role in shaping who Albus Dumbledore would become. Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends when they were young ones, but after a nasty falling out, Grindelwald went on to become an extremely powerful dark wizard.
In the end, only Dumbledore could bring down his former friend, but he didn’t kill him. Instead, Grindelwald wound up imprisoned for life. Fans are guessing the drama between Dumbledore and Grindelwald could unfold in Fantastic Beasts since it’s set in the right time period.
We’ll have to wait until Fantastic Beasts 2 comes out in theaters in 2018, but there’s supposedly a glimpse of Johnny Depp in the first installment, which will be out in theaters on November 18, 2016.