Warner Bros. is one of the few large studios not skipping San Diego Comic Con this year—neither Disney nor HBO showed, leaving Marvel, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones fans in the lurch—and Saturdays panel has already been full of surprises. Johnny Depp, whose casting in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has been mired in controversy since his role was revealed in the first movie, was conspicuously absent from the Wizarding World panel discussion—until he wasnt.
Following months of fan backlash over Depps history of alleged domestic abuse and an unhinged Rolling Stone profile that may have gotten too honest about Depps debts and lawsuit against his former managers, it seemed as if Warner Bros. had declined to include Depp in their Grindelwald panel, seeing as Amber Heard would be in attendance for the Aquaman panel an hour later. He didnt arrive when the other stars walked onstage, and they didnt discuss him. And then, Depp strolled out in full costume, bleached hair and all, as the dark wizard himself.
Vultures Kyle Buchanan noted that Depp “delivered a creepy monologue” that sounded as if he was being fed lines through an earpiece—nothing new for Depp—and then left the stage without speaking to anyone or answering questions.
Meanwhile, the trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald (the most of the title character weve seen since his brief, bedraggled appearance in the first movie) advertises a film that looks darker and even more fantastical than the first Fantastic Beasts. There is much waving of wands, people floating around in giant bubbles, and a menagerie of new and returning beasts that our hero, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), will have to bundle away in his spacious suitcase.
As promised in the first movie, Grindelwald will explore the backstory hinted at in the Harry Potter series, when Dumbledore and Grindelwald had their legendary face-off for control of the Deathly Hallows.
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