Johnny Depp joins the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel

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Nov 2, 2016, 11:30 AM EDT

We’re about 3 weeks away from the hotly anticipated premiere of Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Warner Bros. is already looking ahead to the sequel by announcing a bit of truly fantastic news.

According to Deadline, Johnny Depp has joined the cast of the Fantastic Beasts sequel in an undisclosed, co-starring role. Depp will be joining Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne — who is starring as magizoologist Newt Scamander — in the new movie set to be helmed by frequent Harry Potter director David Yates, with a screenplay by J.K. Rowling.

Although Depp’s role is being kept under wraps, some have speculated that the actor could be playing Gellert Grindelwald (played by Jamie Campbell Bower in the Harry Potter movies), a former friend of Albus Dumbledore and one of the most dangerous Dark Wizards of all time. After Voldemort, that is.

I think this bit of speculation is totally possible since A) it was recently revealed that Fantastic Beasts would feature cameos by a young Dumbledore and Grindelwald B) the site reports that if we look hard enough, we’ll spot Depp in a tiny turn (which would explain why they're announcing the casting now), and C) Grindelwald’s name is specifically mentioned in the extended synopsis. Now, isn't that a tiny bit auspicious? Check it out below:

There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction of No-Majs (American for Muggles) bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found.

Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge—a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy that former Auror Tina Goldstein jumps on, seeing her chance to regain her post. However, things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA), casts his suspicions on both Newt…and Tina.

Now allied, Newt and Tina, together with Tina’s sister, Queenie, and their new No-Maj friend, Jacob, form a band of unlikely heroes, who must recover Newt’s missing beasts before they come to harm. But the stakes are higher than these four outsiders—now branded fugitives—ever imagined, as their mission puts them on a collision course with dark forces that could push the wizarding and No-Maj worlds to the brink of war.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will open on Nov. 18, while the sequel is slated for Nov. 18, 2018. What do you think of the addition of Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts pentalogy of films?

(via Deadline)