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JK Rowling Defends Johnny Depp Casting In 'Fantastic Beasts' Sequel

JK Rowling and director David Yates are defending their decision to not replace Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald'.

Depp, who briefly appeared in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', has a much larger role in the sequel. However, some fans are not happy with the casting choice after his split from Amber Heard (photosAmber Heard photos) and the accusations of domestic violence made by the actress.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Yates defends his decision to stick with Depp and says it's different than other accusations.

"Honestly, there's an issue at the moment where there's a lot of people being accused of things, they're being accused by multiple victims, and it's compelling and frightening. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something," he says.

"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."

"It's very different where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn't in that category in any shape or form," Yates explains. "So to me, it doesn't bear any more analysis."

In a lengthy post on her website, Rowling says: "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 accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role," the author admits.

"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."

December 8, 2017 |

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