FANTASTIC BEASTS 2 Heads To Paris With Johnny Depp As Grindelwald

At least he’s not playing Dumbledore.

Earlier today, I wondered if Johnny Depp’s inclusion in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them meant the series had found its young Grindelwald. Turns out it has, and we may have already seen the back of his head in one of the featurettes. I’m not thrilled about the prospect of following Depp around for five whole movies, but on the ever-so-slightly bright side, we do have confirmation that we are, in fact, in for a bit of a globetrot as the sequel heads to Paris.

The good folks at ScreenCrush have managed to get a hold of an unpublished article (via either a fan forum or some kind of powerful magic), confirming that the Yates-helmed Potter prequel, his sixth consecutive film in the franchise, will send Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander to the city of love. Fans of the series’ extended materials, Pottermore in particular, will likely be familiar with Ilvermorny, the States-side equivalent of Hogwarts that’s more than likely to make an appearance in the series’ first installment. Could this mean the sequel will pay a visit to Beauxbatons from Goblet of Fire when it returns in 2018? I’d be willing to bet a Galleon or two, and since the series appears to follow Gridnelwald’s attacks across Europe, I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually saw the Scandinavian Durmstrang, and a whole host of other yet-unnamed schools all over the continent.

American fans were thrilled to learn that their own wizarding world would end up on screen (two weeks from now in fact, when the first Fantastic Beasts finally arrives), and it’s nice to see they won’t be the only ones having the wishes of their eleven-year-old selves fulfilled. I know I’d like to see one of these take place in India someday, given how massive and ubiquitous the series was back home, but for the time being I’m willing to settle for a new European locale every two years, if that’s indeed the plan. The more the merrier.

Harry Potter was a truly global franchise, from its books to its movies and beyond, so I’m glad this is the direction it seems to be taking, even if it’s still a largely Caucasian direction for the time being, and one that involves Kevin Smith’s latest muse. Rowling has enough goodwill to warrant expectation of a fun and interesting expansion to her universe, one that’s on the cusp of its twentieth anniversary. For all we know, this could just be the half way point.