Since the inclusion of Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them first went public, there has been an outcry against the actor after reports surfaced about his relationship with then-wife Amber Heard. At the time, allegations of domestic violence against Depp were circulating, and fans of the Harry Potter franchise wanted to see the role of Gellert Grindelwald recast with a new actor.
Recently, director David Yates defended keeping Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts sequel by saying that no matter what allegations had been made against the actor, it “doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.” The director even discussed the fact that other women in Depp’s life have defended the actor and said that what he was accused of simply did not align with the kind of man they knew.
Now it seems that J.K. Rowling has finally decided to weigh in on keeping Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts series. According to Entertainment Weekly, the author posted a statement to her website in which she directly addressed the casting of Grindelwald. J.K. Rowling said that when the announcement was first made about the actor being cast, she “thought he’d be wonderful in the role.” However, around the same time as his cameo in the first movie was made public, the allegations against him became known and caused some concern not only for her but also for other people involved in the production.
J.K. Rowling acknowledged in her statement on her website, that fans of the Harry Potter franchise did have legitimate concerns when it came to the inclusion of Johnny Depp. The author then referred back to what David Yates has said in the past when she said, “we naturally considered the possibility of recasting,” and she also said that she understands why so many fans are confused or angry over the fact that they did not go with a different actor. Rowling said that it has been difficult for her to remain quiet about the Johnny Depp issue, but she pointed out that there are “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.”
At the end of the day, J.K. Rowling, David Yates, and the other people working on the production of the Fantastic Beasts sequel are “not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.” While the author understands that there is no way to make everyone happy with their casting decisions, at least in this instance, she is satisfied with the addition of Johnny Depp as part of the Fantastic Beast series.