Fantastic Beasts 2 casts Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, the second most evil wizard of all time

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel will star Johnny Depp as the infamous Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Director David Yates confirmed in an interview with The Leaky Cauldron that the actor, famed and/or disdained for his quirky characterizations, was an ideal fit. Depp's also set to appear in a cameo role in the first film, which opens next week.

“Johnny Depp is a real artist," Yates said. "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.”

Grindelwald is both the villainous counterpart and childhood crush of Albus Dumbledore, another famous Potter personage who was recently confirmed for an appearance in the Fantastic Beasts sequel. Their final duel leading to Grindelwald's imprisonment occurred in 1945, and Fantastic Beasts takes place in 1926, so we may have to wait a few more movies before we see it on the silver screen. It should be impressive whenever it does happen - Grindelwald was the second most powerful Dark Wizard ever, right after Voldemort.

Directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Gemma Chan, Ron Perlman, and Ezra Miller, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled to hit UK and US cinemas on November 18, 2016.

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Image: Warner Bros.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.