Johnny Depp in Transcendence
“No, I’ve never read Harry Potter.” ©Warner Bros

It’s official: Johnny Depp, who has just been cast in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, will play Albus Dumbledore’s old crush/friend/enemy Gellert Grindelwald.

Speaking to The Leaky Cauldron, director David Yates revealed that Depp had been cast as the dark wizard because Depp is “fearless” and “imaginative”:

“The whole principle 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.”

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If you’re not a Potterhead, Grindelwald is one of the most important characters in the Harry Potter series. Initially one of the good guys, he turns into a Dark Wizard and is eventually killed by Voldemort while in prison. In the Fantastic Beasts universe, it seems we will see him at the height of his powers.
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Meanwhile, Yates and producer David Heyman have also revealed that next Fantastic Beasts instalment will be set in Europe, specifically the UK and Paris.
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Singapore release date has been set for Nov 17.