J.K. Rowling Addresses Johnny Depp Casting Controversy In FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD

After remaining silent on the issue, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, a champion for women's rights, breaks her silence on the casting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts sequel

There's been plenty of debate over the return of Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, and now Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has finally spoken out on the subject.

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,” Rowling wrote in a statement on her website, referencing domestic violence allegations made against Depp by his ex-wife Amber Heard. "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. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen."

David Yates issued his own statement on the casting controversy last week, addressing the type of man he believes Johnny Depp to be. "I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with," the director said, supporting his comment by referring to statements made by Depp's past exes that defended the actor.

Back to Rowling, though, the author of the fan-favorite Harry Potter novels and screenwriter for both the original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald expressed frustration in not being able to more openly address the situation. "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."

Rowling recognizes the decision to stick with Depp for the title role may still upset many, but defended, "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."

We recently got our first look at the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald, Depp included, which is set to release November 16, 2018.
 

You can read J.K. Rowling's full statement below:
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.

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. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.

The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. 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’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. 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.
 
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