JK Rowling breaks silence on casting of Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts, says they considered recasting role
JK Rowling has addressed the backlash against Johnny Depp's casting in Fantastic Beasts and its sequels.
Depp was revealed in the first film as evil wizard Gellert Grindewald, lining him up for movie sequels in the series based on Rowling's work.
However, Depp's casting in the family franchise was widely criticised after he was accused of domestic violence by ex-wife Amber Heard, something which he denies.
Rowling has issued a statement on her website about the issue, revealing that recasting of the role had been considered and explaining why it did not happen.
“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,” she wrote.
“‘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 author said she has found it "frustrating and at times painful" not addressing the issue but that two people's privacy had to 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 said.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald releases in November next year.