J.K. Rowling & Warner Bros. Address Johnny Depp's Fantastic Beasts Casting, and Fans Are Disappointed

Author Thumbnail BY Jake Vyper - December 07, 2017

When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered in theaters last year, many were not happy to see Johnny Depp's surprise appearance as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald at the end of the film. The decision to cast Depp as the series' antagonist was controversial because it was done after allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Whether fans like it or not, however, it looks like Depp will continue to play Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. 

Director David Yates recently defended the actor, and now, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has issued a statement on her official website, also defending Depp. 

When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.
Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.
The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.  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.
I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.

Well-said, J.K. Rowling. Depp may not be a perfect person. Warner Bros. and Rowling are aware of the reports, but we can't deny his talent for acting. Of course, many are not happy with this statement as well what Warner Bros. said about this issue: 

 

We are of course aware of reports that surfaced around the end of Johnny Depp’s marriage, and take seriously the complexity of the issues involved. This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said “there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films.

As expected, many fans have expressed their disappointment on social media. 

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald is set to release in theaters on November 16, 2018. 

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Jake Vyper is a Fantasy & Sci-Fi Author, Social Media Manager, and Founder of Epicstream.com
@Jake Vyper | jake@epicstream.com