Out of His Depp: Is Johnny Depp the Right Choice for ‘Fantastic Beasts?’

The 31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival - Maltin Modern Master: Johnny Depp
(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

With only a few weeks until the premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them—the new Harry Potter spinoff—a whirlwind of emotion continues to surround the highly anticipated new film series. Earlier in October, author J.K. Rowling announced that the franchise would be extended to five films instead of three. Now, according to a report by Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming Jr., the sequel will include one of the biggest names in Hollywood: Johnny Depp.

While it is still unclear what role Depp will play in the series, rumors suggest that he is likely to be Gellert Grindelwald, Professor Albus Dumbledore’s old friend.

The decision to cast Depp as a co-star is no doubt a controversial one, especially considering the recent domestic-abuse allegations from his previous wife, Amber Heard.

Moreover, his cinematic reputation has been rapidly deteriorating over the last five years. Depp can only cling to the success of Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean series for so long. Since then, his recent films (Black Mass, Mortdecai, Transcendence, The Lone Ranger) have all been relative disappointments, both critically and in the box office. Fans have come to expect mediocrity from the once beloved actor.

Movie Rotten Tomatoes Grade Total Box Office
Black Mass (2015) 75% $99.75 million
Mortdecai (2015) 12% $47.26 million
Transcendence (2014) 19% $103.04 million
The Lone Ranger (2013) 31% $260.50 million

Depp simply isn’t as marketable as he once was in the ‘90s, and the safety net he once held with Tim Burton and Disney has all but withered away. Nevertheless, perhaps Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will provide Depp with the opportunity to restore glory to his dwindling prestige.

Per Fleming’s report, fans might be able to get a glimpse of Depp in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on Nov. 18, 2016.