Warning. Spoilers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follow…
Earlier this month it was announced that Johnny Depp would be appearing in a major role in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as making a brief cameo appearance in the first movie, with director David Yates subsequently announcing that he’d be playing the notorious Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
Reception to Depp’s casting wasn’t exactly overwhelmingly enthusiastic, while his brief 30-second appearance in Fantastic Beasts has come in for plenty of criticism/mockery from some quarters on social media, prompting director David Yates, producer David Heyman and screenwriter J.K. Rowling to defend the casting decision during an interview with People.
“You have to trust us and see what he does in this movie,” said Yates. “You won’t see very much in this movie because he appears in it very fleetingly. He appears much more in the second movie. What you have to remember about Johnny is that extraordinary talent and that talent never goes away. Hollywood is such a fickle place. People go up and go down. He’s a huge Potter fan. He loves the world. He was beyond excited about working on this material. In fact he didn’t even want to see a script, he just said ‘I’m in.’”
“He’s an iconic actor and we needed an iconic actor to play this part,” added David Heyman. “Johnny’s created two or three iconic people, people who are unforgettable. He makes choices, and that was really, really important … [we] wanted somebody who could, in the one hand, seduce, but, on the other hand, be really scary. Johnny can do that. He was an absolute pleasure to work with.”
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling also added that she was “delighted” by Depp’s casting as Grindelwald and that “he’s done incredible things with the character.”
What did you make of Johnny Depp’s cameo in Fantastic Beasts, and are you looking forward to seeing him in the sequel? Let us know in the comments below…
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” stars Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs,” “Inherent Vice”) as Tina; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) as Jacob; Alison Sudol (“Dig,” “Transparent”) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck”) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown”) as Mary Lou; Oscar winner Jon Voight (“Coming Home,” TV’s “Ray Donovan”) as Henry Shaw, Sr.; Ron Perlman (the “Hellboy” films) as Gnarlack; Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”) as Seraphina; Jenn Murray (“Brooklyn”) as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”) as Percival Graves.