Johnny Depp Breaks Silence On 'Fantastic Beasts' Casting Controversy

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to slip into theaters this fall, and it will do so under some rather intense scrutiny. While fans are happy to see Newt Scamander back on the big screen, Johnny Depp’s take on Gellert Grindelwald has a fair share of critics. So, the actor is addressing the casting controversy regarding his role.

For those unaware, Depp has been embattled in an on-going debacle regarding his previous marriage to actress Amber Heard. Their divorce was a very public one as Depp was accused of physically and emotionally abusing Heard. The actor denied all accusations of abuse, but fans were outraged Depp was allowed to keep his Fantastic Beasts role as investigations got underway. Now, Depp has addressed the controversy in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying he felt bad for the film’s creators as they had to deal with the controversy.

“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations,” Depp said.

“J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”

So far, this evidence has yet to be presented, but Depp’s attorney has said it will be shown in court next month when Depp’s case against The Sun gets underway. Heard’s legal team has refuted the claims.

As for fans, their uncertainty over Depp’s role continues to drive a wedge between them and the franchise. Fantastic Beasts was accused of racism when its new trailer revealed Nagini is actually a Korean woman who was cursed at birth to turn into a snake. Still, there are plenty of fans willing to see how the magical franchise will handle these topics moving forward, so audiences can decide where they stand when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters this fall.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens November 16 followed by the yet-to-be-named Fantastic Beasts 3 on November 20, 2020.