Johnny Depp enters J.K. Rowling's magical world in Fantastic Beasts sequel

Johnny Depp will be joining the cast in the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them sequel.
Johnny Depp will be joining the cast in the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them sequel.PHOTO: WARNER BROS PICTURES

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Johnny Depp has swashbuckled as a pirate, played a mad hatmaker and will next step into Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's wizarding world of magic in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, film trade publications said on Tuesday.

Depp, 53, one of Hollywood's top actors and box office draws, will star with Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in the 2018 sequel to Fantastic Beasts, which is due out in theatres on Nov 18, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety said, citing unnamed sources.

The reports said that Depp will make a cameo in the first film, but did not reveal what part he will play.

Time Warner Inc-owned Warner Bros did not formally announce Depp's casting, and a representative for the studio did not immediately return requests for comment.

Little is known about the plot of Fantastic Beasts, which stars Redmayne with a screenplay by Rowling, featuring new characters and set in New York in 1926, long preceding the Harry Potter books and films, which were set in England in the 1990s.

Rowling revealed earlier this month that Fantastic Beasts will be the first of five new movies set in her wizarding world.

The new franchise will trace the rise of a powerful wizard named Gellert Grindelwald and his eventual 1945 duel with Albus Dumbledore, the popular headmaster from the Potter stories.

Rowling's seven-book Harry Potter series sold more than 450 million copies worldwide, and the film franchise, which ended in 2011 with Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, took in more than US$7 billion at the global box office.

Depp leads Disney's hit Pirates Of The Caribbean series, in which he plays Captain Jack Sparrow, and Alice In Wonderland franchise, in which he plays the Mad Hatter. He is known for playing eccentric characters.