Johnny Depp will play a starring role alongside Eddie Redmayne in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a children’s fantasy film set in JK Rowling’s “wizarding world”, 70 years before Harry Potter enrols at Hogwarts.
Depp also has a small cameo in the first film in the series, according to a report by Deadline. Five films are planned for the franchise, with director David Yates confirmed for the first two.
The movies focus on the adventures of “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, the author of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is prescribed reading for students at Hogwarts, the school attended by Harry Potter in JK Rowling’s books.
The first film follows the events that unfold when some magical creatures are inadvertently released in 1920s New York.
The British actress will play Robin, the assistant to private detective Cormoran Strike, in the BBC One adaptation, which is set to begin shooting this month.
Rowling, who has written three novels under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym, said she “couldn’t be more delighted” about Grainger’s casting.
Grainger, who appeared earlier this year in Coast Guard drama The Finest Hours, said her character’s “strength and intelligence” would be “a joy to explore”.
War and Peace actor Tom Burke will play Strike in the seven hour-long dramas to be drawn from Rowling’s Career of Evil, The Silkworm and The Cuckoo’s Calling books.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released in Australia on 17 November and in the UK and US on 18 November. The sequel is scheduled for release on 16 November 2018.