J.K. Rowling Responds To People Unhappy With Johnny Depp's Casting As Grindelwald

amber heard and johnny depp fantastic beasts issue

Just a few weeks ago, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald director David Yates came out to defend Johnny Depp's inclusion in the movie after some fans of the franchise expressed concerns about some of the allegations that came out about Johnny Depp during his divorce proceedings. Now, J.K. Rowling, the mastermind behind the entire wizard universe that has become so prominent in pop culture, has given her thoughts on the matter, explaining what happened and why the creative team ultimately decided to include Depp in Fantastic Beasts 2. She said:

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.

It's been quite some time since news first broke that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's marriage had some major issues, issues which came out during court proceedings and motions related to the couple's divorce. J.K. Rowling mentions this timeline when she starts out her post. Despite this happening before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out, some people have stated they are unhappy about Johnny Depp's current role in the franchise, after a wave of other allegations came to light regarding prominent people in Hollywood over the past few months.

J.K. Rowling also mentioned on her website/social post that some people have taken to social media to ask her specific questions about Johnny Depp. She mentioned she wasn't previously able to speak openly about what was going on behind the scenes and that it had been "difficult" on her. She stated that Depp and Heard have "agreements" in place to both move on and that the production felt those boundaries "must be respected," before going into more detail about the decision that Warner Bros. and the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald team ultimately made. Per Rowling:

Based on our understanding to the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny Depp playing a major character in the movies. I've loved writing the first two screenplays and I can't wait for the 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.

Unlike some of the stories that have come out about misbehavior among celebrities recently, Depp's dispute was limited to issues with his ex-wife, and none of those issues bled over onto a movie set or into either Johnny Depp or Amber Heard's specific workplaces. J.K. Rowling is cagey about any details she and Warner Bros. were looking at at the time, but the production decided some time ago that Johnny Depp was the person for the gig. The first stills for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald have already been released and the movie is set for a November 16, 2018 release date. Beyond Depp, here's what we know about the upcoming movie.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.