The second installment of the 'Fantastic Beasts' is about to hit theatres on November 16th, 2018 and the focus of the second film is Gellert Grindelwald, the nefarious villain played by none other than Johnny Depp. A bold choice, since it was not too long ago that Depp was making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Back in 2016 Depp's then wife Amber Heard, filed for divorce and requested a temporary restraining order, alleging that her Oscar-nominated husband assaulted her after a drunken argument in their LA apartment. In her report, she accused Johnny of “began obsessing over something that wasn’t true” and “became extremely angry”, throwing a phone at Heard, striking her cheek and eye “with extreme force”.
Amber's detailed and ghorry allegations along with shocking photo and video clips had the world extremely divided on what happened and who was telling the truth. Celebs and fans alike rallied around both actors and while things ended as amicably as they could for the couple, and the claim of domestic abuse and blackmail were dropped- fans to this day still have strong opinions of both parties involved.
Which became known to the Fantastic Beast team when some fans vented their fury and frustration over social media on having Depp star in the film. JK Rowling readers and fans specifically criticized the writer for her decision to maintain her casting choice even as the media frenzy around Depp and Heard peaked.
After years of staying tight-lipped on the matter, Rowling finally opened up about her decision to keep Depp on the project and why she couldn't talk about it before now.
In a statement she released today, she said the following:
"When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he'd be wonderful in the role," she said.
"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."
"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 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."
Rowling ends her statement on a telling note, stating,"Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing." Which goes a long way in backing Depp and everything that transpired in 2016.
For more information on Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald or sneak peek info like who will be playing the young Dumbledore, check out this article right here.
Source: JK Rowling