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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in a matter of weeks, and yet J.K. Rowling has still got surprises up her sleeve.

Recently we learned the Harry Potter spin-off won’t be a standalone film as previously believed, but the first of five movies detailing the history of the wizarding world, eventually coming full circle with The Boy Who Lived.

Now Deadline is reporting that the next installment will see Eddie Redmayne reprising his role as eccentric, introverted wizard Newt Scamander, which is exciting, yes—but not exactly a shocker.

What’s really surprising is that playing a “co-starring role” will be Captain Jack, Willy Wonka, Mr. Mad Hatter himself: Johnny Depp. He’ll also make a brief appearance in the first film of the Potter prequel pentalogy (like that? We made it up. Henceforth referred to as the “PPP”).

Which role he plays, though, remains a mystery. Or does it? A star as big as Johnny is unlikely to be filming a cameo, and keeping his most famous roles in mind leads us to think he might well play a wily, albeit charming, foe.

Speculation has gone into overdrive, with Harry Potter fans wondering if this news has anything to do with director David Yates‘ hints at last month’s global fan event that both Dumbledore and Grindelwald appear in one scene in the upcoming film, and that Grindelwald will have a prominent role to play in future installments.


Add to that, this adorable video released yesterday (November 1) of Ezra Miller being a total Harry Potter fanboy about the very film he stars in as the mysterious adopted son of a No-Maj, the American English term for a Muggle:

Did you get from that what we did? Ezra seems to be suggesting that Fantastic Beasts will, eventually, link to the mythic duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. Yup, that infamous duel that made Dumbledore a legend and gave him the Elder Wand.

Is it possible Johnny could be playing Grindelwald? These people certainly think so:

Hang on to your brooms, kids. We have until November 18 to find out.

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.