American films

J.K. Rowling is ‘happy’ Johnny Depp was cast in Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald

Following domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife Amber Heard, Depp’s casting had raised ‘legitimate concerns’ for fans, the author acknowledges, but she was still ‘comfortable’ sticking with her original decision

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 December, 2017, 6:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 December, 2017, 6:00pm

Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, has finally broken her silence about the controversial casting of Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts film franchise, which is set to continue next November with Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald.

Rowling supported Depp’s casting in a statement on her website.

“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.”

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The concerns surrounded allegations that Depp had abused his then-wife Amber Heard during their one-year marriage in 2015. After a restraining order due to Heard’s claims of emotional and physical abuse – for which she provided photographs and videos – Heard and Depp reached a US$7 million settlement.

“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,” Rowling said, referring to Yates’ comments defending Depp’s casting in an interview with Screenrant in November.

Heard provided court photos showing bruises allegedly inflicted by Depp.

However, Rowling not only stuck to the decision to cast Depp, she said she and the producers were “happy” to have Depp in the role and called it “the right thing.”

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“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,” Rowling said.

“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,” she concluded.