J.K. Rowling speaks out on casting Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 2
J.K. Rowling is "genuinely happy" to have Johnny Depp play a major character in 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' - despite the backlash it's received.
The 54-year-old actor recently confirmed he was reprising his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the sequel, but some fans slammed bosses' decision to bring him back for the next movie because of his controversial divorce from Amber Heard last year, in which she claimed he'd been abusive towards her throughout their marriage before later dropping the allegations, and begged them to re-cast the part.
However, Rowling has confirmed that producers did consider recasting the villain but decided against it once the allegations were dropped - and she agrees with them.
Taking to her website, she wrote: "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 'Harry 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.
"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. 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."
Following on from the end of the first film, the sequel sees the Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald escape from the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA).
Now the wizard is gathering followers to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
In order to stop him and his plans, a young Albus Dumbledore [Jude Law] enlists the help of Magizoologist Newt Scamander [Redmayne] who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.