Johnny Depp has confirmed that he will return for Fantastic Beasts 3, with production expected to commence in ‘the middle of next year’.
The actor, 55, explained he loved the role and playing him ‘as a sensitive, concerned yet manipulative and powerful wizard’, so much that he can’t wait to work on the third film, of five, in the J.K. Rowling-penned franchise.
In an interview with Collider on Tuesday, he explained: ‘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 installment.’
Comeback: Johnny Depp has confirmed that he will return for Fantastic Beasts 3, with production expected to commence in ‘the middle of next year’
The casting of Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald was marred with controversy, as fans expressed their disappointment after he was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard, 32, last year.
In December 2017, Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling said the claims ‘deeply concerned’ her, and that she and director David Yates did consider recasting the role for the second film in the franchise.
However she added that, while she understands that not all fans will be satisfied, she is ‘genuinely happy’ to have Depp play a leading character.
Rowling wrote in a statement: ‘When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role.
Controversial: Fans expressed their disappointment at his casting as Grindelwald after he was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard, 32, last year
Defending the choice: In December 2017 J.K. Rowling (pictured in April 2018) said while the claims ‘deeply concerned’ her at the time, she was ‘genuinely happy’ to have him in the role
‘However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.
‘Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role.
‘As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting.’
The author said she understood why ‘some have been confused and angry’ that Johnny was not recast, and that not being able to speak openly with fans about the issues ‘has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful’.
She added: ‘However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.
Keeping him in: Rowling revealed that she and director David Yates did consider recasting the role for the second film in the franchise but then decided against it
‘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.’
She continued: ‘I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see The Crimes Of Grindelwald.
‘I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee.’
Rowling concluded: ‘Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.’
At the time, Warner Bros also issued a statement in support of the decision to keep him in the film.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to be released in UK cinemas on November 16.
Coming soon: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to be released in UK cinemas on November 16