Johnny Depp Joins ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise

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Johnny Depp has reportedly joined the cast of the follow-up to J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The iconic actor is no stranger to magical roles, having starred as the titular metal-fingered character in Tim Burton’s 1990 cult film Edward Scissorhands before going on to portray kooky pirate Jack Sparrow in five of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films.

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Now Deadline reports the 53-year-old Academy Award nominee is stepping into the wizardly realm of the Harry Potter spin-off, with sources claiming he’ll be starring in the second film of the new franchise alongside leading man Eddie Redmayne, who plays ‘magizoologist’ Newt Scamander – a sorcerer who specializes in mystical creatures.

The report has been confirmed by Warner Brothers, who’ve also revealed that Depp will briefly appear in this November’s first Fantastic Beasts film. Production on the David Yates-directed sequel is set to begin next year.

Before Depp hops on set to film the Fantastic Beasts follow-up, he has two other enchanting films lined up, which are both due to reach theaters in 2017. The first is director Kenneth Branagh’s take on author Agatha Christie’s classic detective novel Murder on the Orient Express, which boasts an ensemble cast featuring the likes of Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Pena, Josh Gad, and Daisy Ridley.

The second project he’s got in the works is a role in Labyrinth, a highly-anticipated sleuth movie in which Depp will portray Russell Poole, the real-life Los Angeles detective who investigated the murders of rap rivals Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.

The actor appears to be getting serious about revamping his career of late – the star left his management firm United Talent Agency to join Hollywood rival Creative Artists Agency after having been signed to the former since 1998.

The move comes after a string of box office disappointments with films like Transcendence and this year’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. The jump to CAA also ends a 25-year business partnership with agent Tracey Jacobs, who signed the actor when he was on TV series 21 Jump Street in the late 1980s. They joined UTA together in 1998.

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