Amidst controversy surrounding his continued involvement in the film, Johnny Depp is set to return to his character of Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie.
As a prequel spin-off of the Harry Potter series, the screenplays for the original Fantastic Beasts movie and the new one titled “The Crimes of Grindelwald” have been written by J.K Rowling.
Rowling has been heavily involved in the filmmaking process of the hugely successful Harry Potter films and this is no different in the case of Fantastic Beasts. She has therefore taken responsibility for the continued casting of controversial actor Johnny Depp.
John Depp, an actor historically loved by film goers worldwide has come under fire for allegations of physical and mental abuse of his ex-wife Amber Heard.
In November, long time Potter director and director of Fantastic Beasts David Yates commented on the decision to retain Johnny Depp in the films. Yates stated that the controversy surrounding Depp was not as serious or clear cut as some of the more famous cases in the current news media.
He went on to defend Depp’s character by commenting on how he enjoyed working with him and that multiple women from Depp’s life had defended him from the damning allegations.
J.K. Rowling has stayed silent on the issue until she posted a link to her website where she laid out her reasoning for keeping Depp in the upcoming film. Rowling said that she thought Johnny would be wonderful in the role but had considered re-casting him when the controversies began.
Rowling said that she understood why fans were angry about why Depp’s role was not re-cast. She also said that her “inability” to speak freely with fans about the issue had been particularly difficult for her.
Rowling claimed that there were arrangements for the quietening down of the issue and that both Depp and Heard wanted to “get on with their lives”. She then said that she and the filmmakers, upon reviewing the situation, were still happy to work with Depp on the film.
Depp has not made any comments about this controversy.
Warner Bros made a similar statement to Rowling and Yates, pointing out that they were aware of the controversy but ultimately did not see it as serious enough to warrant re-casting.
Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard reached a settlement in 2016 and issued a statement revealing that their relationship was “intensely passionate” and there was no false claims made by either party.
Despite these statements many fans seem to remain unsatisfied with the decision, it has yet to be seen if this controversy will affect the performance of next year’s film.