When Johnny Depp was cast as Gellert Grindelwald for Fantastic Beasts 2, it caused some controversy, particularly with fans of the Harry Potter franchise. Depp had been accused of assaulting then wife Amber Heard, supposedly throwing a cellphone at her face during a very heated argument. Though the assault charges were dropped, the fact that Heard had proof of the assault and even donated all of her divorce money to charities against violence to women made Depp a poor choice to star in a franchise that has been vocal against abuse.
Director David Yates has defended the casting choice, implying that the actor will be in for the long haul with the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Yates stated that Depp "is full of decency and kindness" on the set of the film. He feels that the accusations don't match up with the actor that he has been working with. Furthermore, he points out how Depp's exes have actually defended the actor when Heard made the assault accusations. Yates said: "By testament, some of the women in [Depp's] life have said the same thing — ‘that's not the human being we know.'"
It looks like Depp will continue playing Grindelwald for the time being, whether fans like it or not. Obviously, this is a very touchy issue, so it's easy to see why fans are uneasy about the casting.
Fantastic Beasts 2 is slated for a November 16, 2018, release.