Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them isn't out until November 17, but we already have some news about its sequel: Johnny Depp is joining the cast. He'll be a new element in a film which will otherwise have the same director (David Yates), screenwriter (J.K. Rowling) and star (Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander). Johnny Depp performing as part of the Hollywood Vampires earlier this winter. Image: Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Starkey Hearing Foundation
Here's the catch. Deadline, which broke the news, doesn't know which character Depp will be playing. However, let's look at the facts. Number one: He's Johnny Depp. He's probably not going to just cameo. That's what he does in Kevin Smith movies. No, the role is probably significant - and the timing of the news is curious, especially coming after this tidbit late last month.
That basically is Yates laying the foundation for what Entertainment Weekly released today: A video of Fantastic Beasts star Ezra Miller talking through a key piece of wizarding history in Rowling's world. He teases that Fantastic Beasts will, eventually, link to the mythic duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald - the duel that made Dumbledore a legend and gave him the Elder Wand.
Yates says that both characters are mentioned in the first Fantastic Beasts film, so Johnny Depp could easily be playing either one of them, right? A younger Dumbledore or Grindelwald? That's my guess, but I could be totally incorrect.
The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which Deadline suggests could feature Depp in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo (another hint that he's potentially Grindewald), opens on November 17. Its sequel is due 16 November 2018.