Article Nov 19, 2016

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J.K. Rowling: 'I wish we could have kept Johnny Depp casting secret longer'

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is upset she wasn't able to keep Johnny Depp's casting in the Fantastic Beasts films secret for a little longer.

The news of Depp's cameo role in the new film leaked earlier this month (Nov16) and director David Yates confirmed the Pirates of the Caribbean star had signed on to play Gellert Grindelwald during a junket for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this week (beg07Nov16).

But Rowling, who is writing the screenplays for all five franchise films, is disappointed the casting news got out.

"It was enormously hard (to keep it a secret), and I can't believe we kept that under wraps until barely a week from the movie, so I suppose we kind of wanted to give people a surprise, that reveal," she told news show Entertainment Tonight. "(It) would've been nice to keep it a little longer, but I think we're pleased we got this far."

The author insists Depp won't take anything away from Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in the new film.

"He's one of the best actors in the world but he's got a real feeling for who Newt is," she cooed. "He's a guy who in some ways, he's immensely confident and strong, and in other ways he's very uncomfortable in his own skin."

Rowling recently confirmed there would be five Fantastic Beasts films, which are all linked to the Harry Potter story but set decades before the birth of the boy wizard.

She explains, "This whole story will span 19 years, so hardcore Potter fans I think will know what that means. If we're going from 1926 to 1945, they'll know what it's about."

Fantastic Beasts hits cinemas around the world on 18 November (16).