As someone who’s turned defending actors against online snark into something of a hobby, this is my ultimate test. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them got me on board after dropping its mystery box, revealing the five-part Potter prequel’s central focus, but it may have squandered a bit of its goodwill by casting professional on-screen distraction Johnny Depp in its 2018 sequel. Celebrate or mourn accordingly!
Minor spoilers to follow.
Of course, I’m being dramatic when it comes to sounding the series’ death knell in the wake of this development (David Yates and J.K. Rowling are yet to disappoint me), but while Johnny Depp has turned in a handful of great performances, all of them were some time ago and his presence during this decade has been nothing short of blemishing, especially in mainstream fantasy. It’s hard not to be annoyed by this. What’s more, not only will he have a role in the sequel, he’ll also make a cameo appearance in the series’ first film next week. Here’s what The Hollywood Reporter had to say:
“Depp will be making a cameo in Fantastic Beasts, but his character is being kept under wraps so audiences will have to keep an eye out.”
Now, I’m not saying Johnny Depp is playing Gellert Grindelwald, famed wielder of the Elder Wand and apparent focus of the series. What I am saying is if he is playing Grindelwald, then not seeing Dumbledore pine after him on screen might not be the worst thing. There’s only so much Johnny Depp some of us can take! Oh, and before anyone asks, I’m not sure what the protocol is when it comes to mentioning Depp’s alleged wife-beating in this context, so I’ll refrain from mentioning his alleged wife-beating.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives November 18th. Whoever he's playing, I hope Depp proves me wrong!