Johnny Depp's role in Fantastic Beasts has been revealed

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Film-Fantastic Beasts-Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp's role in Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them's second film has finally been revealed.

The actor, whose presence in the movie has had fans excited for days, will play a dark, powerful wizard - Gellert Grindelwald, an old cohort of Harry Potter favourite Albus Dumbledore.

Fans of the original JK Rowling books will be aware of Grindelwald, who is on the list of Most Dangerous Wizards Of All Time in the magical world the author created.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp (Chris Pizzello/AP/PA Images)

The film's director, David Yates, confirmed the news in a chat with The Leaky Cauldron website.

He said: "The whole principle of casting the movie was go with the best actor. Go for the most inspired, interesting, right fit for that character. And as we approached Grindelwald we thought 'Who's going to take this in an interesting direction?'

"In this business, it's a weird old business. You're brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down. But no-one takes away your pure talent."

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp (Matt Crossick/PA Wire/PA Images)

He went on to say "Johnny Depp is a real artist" and praised him for creating "several characters who have really resonated in our popular culture".

David added: "He's a really brilliant, brilliant actor. We were excited about seeing what he would do with this guy, the character.

"He's fearless, he's imaginative, he's ambitious. We thought he would do something fun and special. So we went for him, purely on that selfish basis. We don't care if he's famous or not famous. We just know he's interesting."

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Jaap Buitendijk/2016 Warner Bros/PA Images)

Producer David Heyman said: "Grindelwald is an iconic character, so it was important to have someone who had that weight. There's a reason why he has that weight. It's because, you know, he's a fine actor who makes unexpected choices."

Johnny will star alongside leading man Eddie Redmayne in the 2018 sequel after he pops up for a cameo in the first film, which is due to hit UK cinemas on November 18.

The movie is based on JK's hit book of the same name and is set 60 years earlier than Harry Potter, in 1926 New York.

Eddie plays writer Newt Scamander in the city's secret community of witches and wizards.

There are already five films planned in the Warner Bros franchise.