When news broke of Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp being cast in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, fans all over the world started guessing as to who the actor might be playing.
And when it was further announced that Depp will also be doing a cameo in the first installment of the franchise, those speculations zeroed in on one single character – Gellert Grindelwald.
It turns those theories are true, after all. Johnny Depp is confirmed to bring the dark wizard to life.
This was confirmed by both Harry Potter director David Yates and producer David Heyman during a round table interview with The Leaky Cauldron. They were even surprised that the news hadn’t been leaked sooner.
“We filmed early,” the both said. “I was amazed,” Heyman added.”It was completely bonkers. I was convinced it [would be leaked] you can keep very few secrets nowadays, especially something like that! When he came to Leavesden and we filmed for two days…and it didn’t come out. That’s mad.”
“Sworn to secrecy,” David Yates added with a smile.
David Heyman looked at Yate. “Well people tend to break their promises.”
David Yates also explained why they chose Depp to play the iconic character, despite the actor’s recent involvement in a domestic abuse scandal:
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.
David Heyman also added a few words, saying:
Grindelwald is an iconic character, so it was important to have someone who had that weight. There’s a reason why he has that weight. It’s because, you know, he’s a fine actor who makes unexpected choices.
For those who are not aware about the character Depp is playing, Gellert Grindelwald was once a close friend of Albus Dumbledore who became obsessed with the Deathly Hallows and, after having a falling out with Dumbledore, fled and raised an army in an attempt for world domination. He became the most powerful dark wizard in history after he got hold of the Elder wand, the most powerful wand to ever exist.
Grindelwald’s terror ended after Dumbledore defeated him in a 3-hour long duel in 1945, where he was then captured and detained in the top-most cell of Nurmengard, a prison he created for his enemies.
More news and updates will be coming this way, so stay tuned!
Meanwhile, dont forget to check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this November 18.