The casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald has recently come back into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, and Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has decided to clarify her stance on the subject.
The debate resurfaced recently thanks to an exchange on Twitter, though it wasn't really much of an exchange, resulting in Rowling blocking the person who asked the question of why it was okay for Depp to still be a part of the cast after allegations of abuse while another actor was fired for doing drugs. Rowling released an official statement on Depp's casting, and why he is still part of the project.
"When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he'd be wonderful in the role," Rowling said. "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."
Rowling understands where the community is coming from, and they even toyed with recasting. "Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role," Rowling said. "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."
Rowling also shared how difficult it has been not commenting on this subject to the fans, but it comes down to agreements already in place.
"The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life," Rowling said. "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."
The Harry Potter creator is excited for fans to see the film but knows not everyone will be on board.
I've loved writing the first two screenplays and I can't wait for fans to see 'The Crimes of Grindelwald'. 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," Rowling concluded.
This will likely divide the fanbase a bit, but you can judge the project for yourself when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16, 2018.