This puts Fantastic Beasts squarely between Dumbledore and Grindelwald's first and final encounters, finally allowing Rowling to explore the meaty backstory teased through her original novels. Yates's film goes far enough to name-drop Dumbledore, and his producers have been vocal in their hunt for an actor to play the young wizard. The Grindelwald cameo is just the beginning of... something.
Why does Depp, more controversial than ever after a string of movie misfires and alleged domestic abuse of his now-ex-wife Amber Heard, bring to Grindelwald? Yates says he and his producers cast the Pirates of the Caribbean actor quite late, but that being brilliant had everything to do with it.
"For me, he's a supremely talented actor," Yates says. "He surprises and takes risks and sort of does things that shouldn't work but do work sometimes. If you look at some of the characters he's created for cinema, they resonate still, those stayed with us, that become part of the cultural landscape. That's his special gift... to offer vivid, interesting characters that stay within the landscape, and that's what we needed for this. Personally, I think he's a really special, special actor who, regardless of where he is on his career path, will always be special."