Despite Controversy, Johnny Depp Will Return To Fantastic Beasts

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
According to a new interview, Johnny Depp will return to the big screen to portray dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in J.K. Rowling's third Fantastic Beasts film.
The second film in the Eddie Redmayne-centric Harry Potter spin-off hits theatres on November 16, 2018, but already Depp is chatting about getting back to work for the third instalment.
Speaking at a panel at the Zurich Film Festival, per Collider, the Pirates of the Caribbean actor shared that he "loved" playing the magical fugitive, and would continue to do so.
"I loved [playing Grindelwald] because that’s really an arena where you can fly around and try different things," said the actor. "Yeah he’s a fascist... but [I] play him as a sensitive, concerned yet manipulative and powerful wizard. The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next instalment, which I think we start the middle of next year."
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Refinery29 has reached out to Depp for comment.
Despite his enthusiasm for the role, Depp's casting in the Fantastic Beasts franchise has been fraught with controversy.
In 2016, his former spouse, Aquaman actress Amber Heard, accused Depp of abuse. Depp has vehemently denied the claims. When Depp appeared in a surprise cameo at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts film later that same year, fans reacted strongly, decrying the film's decision to cast an alleged abuser.
Screenwriter and Fantastic Beasts creator Rowling, as well as director David Yates, have stood by Depp.
"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," Rowling said in a statement.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Depp shared what he hoped for in the new Fantastic Beasts instalment.
"My intense loyalty is to not just J.K. [Rowling] and David Yates but to the people who go and see the films as well, the people who have invested their lives into this magnificent, incredible world J.K. has created," Depp told the outlet, before adding: "The Potter fans are like scholars of this stuff which I find incredibly impressive. They know that world inside and out. I hope to give them something they haven’t seen before."
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