Johnny Depp has been cast in Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts, and speculation is rife that he is playing dark wizard Grindelwald.

Film series, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne, is set in the same universe as the Harry Potter films but takes place decades before in 1920s New York.

Ahead of the release of the first film later this month, JK Rowling confirmed that the five-movie series will explore more of the relationship between beloved Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore and dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Rowling famously revealed Dumbledore is gay following the publication of the last Harry Potter book, after hints about his relationship with Grindelwald.

It was announced this week that Johnny Depp has been cast in Fantastic Beasts 2 – leaving fans to guess about his character’s identity. Speculation is underway, and all the evidence points in one direction, as eagle-eyed Potter fans linked Depp’s real-life haircut to a brief glimpse of Grindelwald from behind in a trailer for the first film.tweet

To add fuel to the fire, Warner Bros just so happened to release a clip this week featuring Ezra Miller explaining the backstory for Grindelwald.

Miller hints: “Think about it… Fantastic Beasts takes place in 1926, which is around when Grindelwald was beginning his attacks across Europe, which might be connected – might not be connected, but might be connected to Grindelwald’s rise to power?”

Ezra Miller is one of a number of actors whose roles are shrouded in mystery, alongside Colin Farrell, who is playing a character known as Graves.

It’s unclear if Albus Dumbledore has been cast.

The setting of the film rules out the return of many other fan favourites from the Potter franchise aside from Dumbledore and Grindelwald.

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