Fantastic Beasts 2 confirms Grindelwald casting

The identity of Fantastic Beasts 2’s big bad is who we were expecting

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Having been heavily hinted at a while back, we can now confirm that Johnny Deep – who was recently cast in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2 – will indeed be playing Gellert Grindelwald.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Grindelwald is a dark wizard – the most powerful in history until Voldemort came along – who after being expelled from Durmstrang Academy, moves to Godric’s Hollow and becomes firm friends with a young Albus Dumbledore, before rampaging around Europe on a reign of terror, assisted by one of the Deathly Hallows, the Elder Wand.

Later on he is defeated by his former friend and imprisoned, before ultimately being murdered by Voldemort, although the story in Fantastic Beasts 2 will jump in at the mid-way section, during which he has supposedly gone missing.

Interestingly, casting for a young(er) Dumbledore is also currently being embarked on. Looks like they’re really connecting the dots between the Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter universes.

SANTA BARBARA, CA - FEBRUARY 04: Johnny Depp arrives at the Maltin Modern Master event during The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival held at Arlington Theatre on February 4, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Johnny Depp will play Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2 (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic).

Speaking with Harry Potter fan website The Leaky Cauldron, director David Yates confirmed the news, saying:

“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.”

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them 2 will be released in cinemas on 16 November 2018. For all the latest movie news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow, in which you can read our full behind-the-scenes feature on the upcoming movie.