Johnny Depp appears at San Diego Comic-Con in Grindelwald costume

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Johnny Depp, who will play the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald, surprised his fans when he made an unexpected appearance at the San Deigo Comic-Con, fully clad in his Grindelwald look in the upcoming film.

Warner Bros’ panel at the venue was packed with big announcements and footage from future movies. The panel began with Fantastic Beasts 2 cast and the trailer announcement, that soon appeared online on the studio’s YouTube channel. Depp, while on stage, said to a cheering crowd, “We who live for freedom or truth, the moment has come to rise up and take our rightful place in the world.”

Johnny Depp’s casting in the Fantastic Beasts films has been a cause of controversy, forcing even JK Rowling, the scribe behind the Harry Potter books, to defend the decision. Depp was accused of domestic violence by ex-wife Amber Heard, who appeared in the same hall an hour later to release the Aquaman trailer. Heard had won a seven million dollar settlement in a court case. She plays the role of the female lead Mera in Aquaman.

JK Rowling had defended the decision of Warner Bros to stick to Depp by saying, “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”

Depp’s character Grindelwald is one of the most powerful dark wizards of all time, perhaps behind only Voldemort. He comes into conflict with Jude Law’s young(er) Dumbledore and Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander.

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