Johnny Depp will play Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald again in the third Fantastic Beasts film, the actor has confirmed.
Speaking at the Zurich Film Festival (reported by Collider), Depp told fans he enjoys playing the fantasy role and is gearing up to wield his wand once again when Fantastic Beasts 3 starts filming in 2019.
“It was a gas [playing Grindelwald] and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year,” the Pirates of the Caribbean star revealed while promoting his new film Richard Says Goodbye.
55-year-old Depp had a brief cameo as Dumbledore’s adversary in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, but will play a much larger role in this November’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald.
There has been some controversy about Johnny Depp’s role in the Wizarding World films, with a vocal contingent of fans calling for the filmmakers to remove him from the franchise following abuse allegations levelled at the star by his former wife Amber Heard.
Heard filed for a domestic violence restraining order against the actor alleging that he’d physically and emotionally abused her, which Depp vehemently denied. She donated her entire divorce settlement to domestic violence and children’s charities.
Depp was also named in a court case where it was alleged he’d attacked a crew member on another film set. The filmmakers on Fantastic Beasts have stood by Depp, with J.K. Rowling addressing fans’ concerns with a statement on her personal website that read: “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
In Zurich Depp also talked about he was personally recruited by Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books and screenwriter on the Fantastic Beasts spin-off franchise.
“It was amazing. It came out of nowhere,” he explained. “Someone said J.K. Rowling would like to talk to me. I spoke to a few producers and the director and to J.K. and had long conversations basically about the Grindelwald character. J.K. said something I did not expect to hear because obviously her detail to her characters and those wizarding worlds is astonishing.
“The fact that she said, ‘I can’t wait to see what you do with the character.’ Just to hand it off to me with that degree of trust, I was really touched, blown away by that.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in UK cinemas 16 November, 2018. Watch a trailer below.
HT: Digital Spy