Oscar nominated actor Johnny Depp appears bound to join a wizarding world. Deadline dropped the story that Depp is joining the ensemble for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, a deeper expansion of the Harry Potter universe created by J.K. Rowling. It was recently announced that Fantastic Beasts would start a five-film franchise for Warner Bros. with the first installment – starring Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne – hitting cinemas on November 18th.
A prequel to Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts stars Redmayne as Newt Scamander. The first film chronicles his adventures in a community of wizards and witches while traveling to New York City. Peter Yates (The Legend of Tarzan), a Potter veteran, directed the feature and will continue on with the franchise; the second film is set to start production sometime next year with Redmayne continuing his lead role. What role Depp will portray is still up in the air and being kept mum for now, however there appears inklings that he may appear in some form in the first chapter – we will all have to wait a couple of weeks to find out.
This marks yet another intriguing move for Depp, who has been quite in demand lately. He last appeared in Disney’s lackluster summer sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass, but in recent months has signed on to a number of high profile projects. He will be among the all-star ensemble of Kenneth Branagh’s upcoming Murder on the Orient Express, headline the upcoming Labyrinth (which explores the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls) and is set to star in Brett Ratner’s The Libertine as well a rebooted The Invisible Man. Before all of that, he will reprise his Jack Sparrow role in next year’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will open on November 18th. Aside from Redmayne, the film stars Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Colin Farrell (The Lobster), Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs), Carmen Ejogo (Selma), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Oscar winner Jon Voight (Ali).