Why Grindelwald Has A Scary Eye in Fantastic Beasts 2, According To Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald
(Image credit: (Warner Bros.))

2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them concluded with a true shocker to audiences when it revealed Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald. He is one of the most powerful Dark Wizards mentioned in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, only outshined by Lord Voldemort. In the upcoming sequel Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, just as the title indicates, Depp as the Dark Wizard will have a much more central role in the film. This time Grindelwald has a slightly different look; a scary-looking eye countering his brown eye, a deliberate choice from Depp himself. Here's why he has it, per Depp:

It's a character choice. I saw Grindelwald as more than one, if you know what I mean. I almost felt like he's maybe two people. He's twins in one body. So a gamey eye is more like the other side of him. Sort of like a brain for each eye, an albino twin, and he's somewhere in the middle.

Per his interview with Entertainment Weekly, it looks like Johnny Depp has taken his role as Grindelwald quite acutely with this character detail. In Crimes of Grindelwald, Depp is taking on the role of a new villain for one of fantasy's most beloved universes. This character attribute will likely be more apparent when we see his character return in the new Fantastic Beasts film. So farm we know that Grindelwald will pose quite the threat, with his vile agenda to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all Muggles. A younger Dumbledore will recruit his previous pupil, Newt Scamander, to help take Grindelwald down.

Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his unique ability to add his own spin on his characters, often unexpected and original. One big example of this for mainstream audiences was his role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. While Depp has noted that Disney wasn't initially sold on his bold and drunken performance as the pirate, following the success of the Curse of the Black Pearl, the actor must have gained the studio's trust. After starring in quite a few successful franchises, writer J.K. Rowling and director David Yates also put their unwavering trust in Depp to add his own signature to Grindelwald.

In the interview, Johnny Depp described Grindelwald as childlike, dangerous and an oddly likable character. Perhaps his two extreme halves symbolized in his eyes will be apparent in this way to audiences as we struggle to dislike his character, while also finding ourselves intrigued with him as well. Considering the recent allegations against Johnny Depp, which the actor recently opened up about, there is somewhat of a parallel here. Many fans of Johnny Depp and the franchise have found themselves at war with his casting after being accused for violent behavior, but at the same time are excited for the character actor's appearance as well.

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald comes to theaters on November 16.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.