With just a few weeks to go before its Nov. 18 release, Warner Bros. already is planning the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, including a decision to add some star power alongside Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne.
Johnny Depp, a three-time Oscar nominee himself, will play a yet undetermined role in Fantastic Beasts 2, according to Deadline reporter Mike Fleming Jr.
“I’ve confirmed this, but no one is saying exactly what role that Depp will play. But I believe if you look carefully, you might spot him in a tiny turn in the first installment of the J.K. Rowling-created Harry Potter spin-off.”
The only true knowns about the sequel is that it’s expected to hit theaters in 2018, based on the screenplay written by Rowling, and directed by longtime Harry Potter helmer David Yates, who also called the shots in the first Fantastic Beasts film.
Expectations for the first film, however, have painted a pessimistic outlook. Forbes predicts an opening weekend of $75 million – solid for nearly any film produced, but not in the perspective of the Harry Potter universe. In fact, it would be the smallest Friday opening of any franchise film, the lowest since the $88 million premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.
Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson believes a $75 million opening would only allow Fantastic Beasts to make $155 million overall domestically. Except, it could make five times that overseas, making it more than a success for Rowling and Warner Bros., so it could be a moot point.
Even with a smaller opening, Warner Bros. appears attached to the franchise for some time, already announcing multiple sequels to the first film, all inspired by a simple textbook the boy wizard carries with him at Hogwarts some seven decades later.
Depp has been quite busy in the world of filmmaking. He recently completed yet another turn as Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and will lend his voice to the Gnomeo & Juliet sequel, Sherlock Gnomes. He’s also announced as the star of Ed Solomon’s take on author H.G. Wells in The Invisible Man, planned for an April 2018 release.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, complete with its reported $225 million budget, hits theaters just before Thanksgiving on Nov. 18.
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