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J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. defend casting Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts

J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros. defend casting Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts
From CBC - December 7, 2017

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and the team behind the Fantastic Beasts movies are coming under fire from some fans online after defending the casting of Johnny Depp amid earlier allegations of domestic violence levied against him.

"The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up aroundHarry Potteris 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," Rowling wrote in a post on her official website Thursday.

I am saying what I can about the Grindelwald casting issue here:https://t.co/NDMjy542Yv

@jk_rowling

Depp portrays the central role of an evil wizard namedGrindelwaldin the film series. Depp appearedbriefly at the conclusion ofFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but his character is central in the forthcoming sophomore instalment,Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes ofGrindelwald.

Rowling acknowledged that as Depp was filming his cameo for the first film, the news stories that emergedabout Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard's divorce "deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise."

In her divorce filing, Heard accused Depp of being verbally and physically abusive during their relationship. Depp denied the allegations.Their divorce was settled out of court in August, with Heard pledging to donate the funds to charity.

"Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm," the pair said in a statement at the time.

Recasting had been considered

Rowling, who created the Potter spinoffseries and wrote the Fantastic Beasts screenplays, acknowledged that the filmteam had at one point "considered the possibility of recasting" Depp.

"However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people [Depp and Heard], 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," she wrote.

"I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role."

Her defence of Depp comes amid a charged atmosphere in the entertainment world, initially sparked by myriad of allegations of sexual harassment and assault aimed at disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. This fall, dozens of high-profile men in the worlds of entertainment, media, tech, politics and more have been called out for alleged sexual misconduct.

Anger from fans

@rowlinglibrary

@tara_mulholland

@LizzyLaurie

@AccioDanHP

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