Eagerly anticipated Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them hasn't even been released in cinemas yet but fans are already getting excited about the four sequels that writer JK Rowling announced just a few weeks ago. Now, it appears that Warner Bros. Pictures is just as keen to get the ball rolling, revealing shooting the second film starts early next year whilst also confirming Johnny Depp will be part of the cast.

While Deadline did not indicate who the Pirates Of The Caribbean actor might be playing in the follow-up, the publication did clarify that his character will make a very brief appearance in the first instalment due to come out later this month... and of course, that sent the rumour mill into overdrive.

According to Hypable, a source working on the film told them that Depp is playing a younger version of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald and that the back of his head can be seen right at the beginning of Fantastic Beasts. So viewers who are planning to see the film as soon as it comes out better keep their eyes peeled right from the opening credits.

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp has been cast in Fantastic Beasts 2 and rumours suggest he could be playing Grindelwald Atsushi Tomura / Getty

During the IMAX fan event in London, where Rowling announced the movie would expand into a franchise, she stated that later instalments will feature a young Albus Dumbledore and his former friend, Grindelwald. In Potter folklore, the pair's history is complex to say the least, so it'll be interesting to see it play out on screen especially if Depp is bringing the character to life.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is due to be released on 18 November in the UK and US Warner Bros Pictures

Set around 70 years before the events of the Potter saga in the 1920s, JK Rowling has insisted that the film will be in no way a prequel to the hugely popular franchise. Fantastic Beasts is based on a Hogwarts textbook, fictionally written by author-turned-magizoologist Newt Scamander as he travels all around the world to rescue a number of creatures he's... well... misplaced, so to speak.

Directed by Potter veteran David Yates (who will also helm the sequel) and also starring Carmen Ejogo, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Jon Voight and Colin Farrell, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is scheduled to reach UK and US cinemas on 18 November 2016.

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