×

Harry Potter Community Reacts to J.K. Rowling’s Defense of Johnny Depp’s Casting

Early Thursday, author J.K. Rowling published a statement regarding the casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts” film series, a spinoff of the Harry Potter universe.

After Depp was cast (he appeared in a brief cameo at the end of the first “Fantastic Beasts” movie), he made headlines over accusations of domestic violence by now-ex-wife Amber Heard. Though Depp denied the allegations, plenty of Potterheads still decried Rowling for featuring an alleged abuser in her films.

“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,” Rowling, after months of silence on the issue, wrote on her website on Thursday. “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.”

A very vocal Harry Potter fanbase took to Twitter to respond to Rowling. Melissa Anelli of popular fansite the Leaky Cauldron said Rowling’s defense of Depp “makes me very sad” as part of a larger thread.

“Jo has never once indicated (to me) a problem with speaking my truth to her power,” she wrote, in part. “She’s been an absolute champion in that regard. So I hope that continues when I say that my truth right now is that this statement has made me very sad.”

“I love Harry Potter and I love @jk_rowling and both of those things remain true while being deeply disappointed,” she continued. “The irony is that these views we have were informed by the messages of Harry Potter. The Harry Potter generation is a huge part of the #metoo movement and it is not an accident that many of those feeling confident doing what is right over easy did so after growing up with these books.”

One user brought up the unfortunate irony that while the character Harry Potter was victim of abuse, an alleged abuser was cast in the movie. “i seriously hope those fans don’t watch the crimes of grindelwald ’cause they already know the crimes of johnny depp,” she said.

Actor and producer Norman D. Golden II pointed out how crass the defense came across in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Another user questioned the decision not to recast Depp by making reference to Ridley Scott’s decision to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in his film “All the Money in the World.”

Writer Rachel Kiley tweeted, “Casually reminding everyone mad at JK Rowling today that when Depp’s casting was originally announced, she spent the day favoriting tweets calling Amber Heard a liar.” (One fan had previously alleged that Rowling blocked her on Twitter after she asked about Heard’s accusations.)

Other users, however, shared Rowling’s perspective on the matter. “Virtually nobody has enough info to comment on what is right or wrong about him being cast,” said one tweet. “@jk_rowling knows a little more than that. I trust her integrity.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is set to release on Nov. 16, 2018. See more reactions below.

More Film

  • For Lineup Story

    Billie Piper's Directorial Debut, 'Rare Beasts,' to Bow in Venice Critics' Week

    “Rare Beasts,” the directorial debut of British stage and screen actress Billie Piper (“Doctor Who,” “Penny Dreadful,” “Collateral”) is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week, which has unveiled its lineup of nine first works, four of them from female filmmakers. Produced by Vaughan Sivell of Western Edge Pictures in association with [...]

  • 'Mientras dure la guerra' -Rodaje Modmedia-

    Alejandro Amenabar, Ricardo Darin, Paco Cabezas Bound for San Sebastian

    MADRID  –  Alejandro Amenábar, Ricardo Darín and Paco Cabezas, director of episodes from “Peaky Blinders” and “American Gods,” look set to join Penelope Cruz, already confirmed as a Donostia Award winner, at this year’s 67th San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival. The biggest movie event in the Spanish-speaking world, this year’s San Sebastian runs Sept.20-28. Amenábar’s [...]

  • Pinewood Studios James Bond

    Netflix's Shepperton Studios Deal Is Stretching the U.K.'s Production Limits

    Netflix’s huge new hub at Shepperton Studios outside London is a further fillip for Britain’s booming production sector. Amid jitters over Brexit and its effects on the economy, the streaming giant’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the U.K. entertainment industry and a continuing source of local jobs. But the decision by Netflix to [...]

  • Bottom of the 9th

    Film Review: ‘Bottom of the 9th’

    Nearly two decades after scoring an audience award at Sundance for “Two Family House,” a smartly understated yet deeply affecting indie about a Staten Island factory worker who deeply regrets stifling his showbiz ambitions, director Raymond De Felitta steps back up to the plate with “Bottom of the 9th,” another dramatically solid and emotionally satisfying [...]

  • Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in

    Endemol Shine Builds ‘The Bridge’ in Africa (EXCLUSIVE)

    DURBAN–Endemol Shine Group has sold the rights to adapt its critically acclaimed and highly popular Nordic Noir detective series “The Bridge” to Cape Town-based production company Both Worlds Pictures, Variety has learned exclusively. The series will feature an all-African cast and will be set around the Beit Bridge border crossing between South Africa and Zimbabwe. Originally known [...]

  • Durban Film Fest 2019

    Durban Fest Hails Film as ‘Conscience of Our Nation’

    DURBAN–When Ros and Teddy Sarkin raised the curtain on the first Durban Intl. Film Festival 40 years ago, the odds were long that their scrappy fest would survive its inaugural edition. The apartheid government and its draconian censorship board had a stranglehold on the films that reached South African theaters, banning the sorts of subversive [...]

  • Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell

    Film Review: 'Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell'

    “Streetwise,”  the classic and haunting 1984 documentary about homeless street kids in Seattle, is a movie that’s now 35 years old. But for anyone who has seen it, the children it’s about — drifters, hustlers, squatters, thieves, prostitutes — remain frozen in time. And none of them was ever more memorable than Tiny, the 14-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content