We've known for quite some time that we would be getting a bunch of Fantastic Beasts movies, but exactly who would be along for the entire journey was less clear. While we all expected Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander to be there, the rest were up in the air, but it looks like Johnny Depp has now confirmed he'll be back for the third film in the franchise. In a recent interview, Depp stated...
The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year.
Shortly before the release of the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling revealed that this new franchise within her Wizarding World would take five movies. Johnny Depp, for his part, only appeared at the tail end of that movie, but in doing so we learned that another major actor Colin Ferrell, would not be returning for future installments. As such, it was far from certain who would be in for the long term and who would not.
It seemed likely that Johnny Depp would be back for additional films, but that wasn't confirmed previously. The belief is that the rest of the Fantastic Beasts franchise will deal with the reign of terror caused by Depp's Gellert Grindelwald, though since we don't have a lot of details about where and when the other films will be set, it's still possible Grindelwald will be dealt with sooner than that. Alternatively, it's possible Grindelwald might not appear in all the films, jumping in and out as the story requires.
However, based on what Johnny Depp tells Collider he is scheduled to begin filming Fantastic Beasts 3, subtitle to be named later, at some point next year, with the film probably set to open in November of 2020, in order to keep these things coming out at a regular pace.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald takes place years after the first film, and a continent away. It also appears to be much more straightforward in its story. While the first film basically saw Newt Scamander happen into a much larger story about the conflict between the Wizarding World and the normal world by chasing after lost creatures, the sequel will be dealing with the aftermath of that and see Newt take on a much more focused role.