Here’s Who Johnny Depp is Playing in The FANTASTIC BEASTS Movies; First Sequel Takes Place in Paris

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I was already a little wary of Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, especially since the studio has already announced there will be five movies in the series before we even figure out if the first one is decent, but I was especially disappointed to hear that Warner Bros. had cast Johnny Depp in the franchise when that news broke last night. The allegations of him beating his now-ex-wife Amber Heard don’t help matters any, but even if you choose to compartmentalize and leave his off-screen behavior out of the equation, it’s still been a long time since Depp has given a great performance in a movie.

Screencrush points us to SnitchSeeker.com, who has a screengrab of an upcoming issue of Empire Magazine in which director David Yates confirms that the Fantastic Beasts sequel — which is already underway — takes place in Paris, France. Why come to America for Fantastic Beasts only to travel back across the Atlantic for the sequel? Well, Screencrush points out that both movies will feature the character of Gellert Grindelwald, a wizard FB star Ezra Miller gave us a brief history lesson about yesterday. He’s the dark wizard whom Dumbledore beat in a duel to win the Elder Wand, and though he only has a small role in the first film, he’ll be a major force in the franchise. The first movie reportedly mentions Grindelwald’s attacks in Europe via newspaper headlines, so it checks out that the sequel would head over there and continue telling that story.

And yes, according to Hypable, Johnny Depp will be playing Grindelwald. They say we’ll only see the back of his head in the first Fantastic Beasts (a shot we’ve already seen at 3:23 in this featurette), but he’ll presumably have a much bigger part to play in future films. No word yet on who’s playing young Dumbledore, but that ought to be a particularly interesting bit of casting news for fans.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives in theaters on November 18, 2016.

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