×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make

    WGA Authorizing Managers, Lawyers to Make Deals if Agents are Fired

    The Writers Guild of America has authorized managers and lawyers to negotiate deals for writers in place of agents — if the guild tells members to fire their agents on April 7. The guild’s negotiating committee notified members of the plans in a message Wednesday. The WGA and the Association of Talent Agents having made [...]

  • Gone With the Wind Screening

    Film News Roundup: 'Gone With the Wind' Sets Event Cinema Record

    In today’s film news roundup, “Gone with the Wind” sets a new record, “Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles” is acquired, and Tracy Oliver signs with Topic Studios. EVENT CINEMA RECORD The 80th anniversary release of “Gone with the Wind” has grossed $2.23 million in six nationwide screenings on four dates — a record as the [...]

  • Made in Abyss - Journey’s Dawn

    Film Review: ‘Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn’

    It’s a Herculean effort to take a multi-volume manga like author Akihito Tsukushi’s “Made in Abyss,” adapt it into a popular anime television series, and then compress the show into a coherent feature (technically, two movies), but the folks at Sentai Filmworks have done just that. Part one, “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn,” will screen [...]

  • HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market

    HAF: 'Assassination,' 'Apprenticeship' Named Project Market Winners

    Eighteen prizes were presented on Wednesday afternoon at the closing ceremony of the Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. The project market sits alongside FilMart as part of the Entertainment Expo in Hong Kong. “Wong Tai Sin Assassination” to be directed by Wong Hoi and produced by Derek Kwok Tsz-kin, was named the winner of [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Makes Concession on Film Financing in Agent Talks

    The Writers Guild of America has made a concession in film financing in its negotiations with Hollywood talent agents — the second in six weeks of talks. WGA West executive director David Young said Wednesday that it had made a “significant move” toward reaching a deal with the Association of Talent Agents for a revamped [...]

  • Noah Centineo He-Man

    Noah Centineo to Play He-Man in 'Masters of the Universe' Reboot

    From a boy (who’s loved) to He-Man. Noah Centineo is in talks to take on the superhero in Sony Pictures and Mattel Films’ “Masters of the Universe.” Brothers Adam and Aaron Nee are directing the reboot. Mattel Films is partnering with Sony on the movie, which is based on Mattel’s beloved toy line that spawned [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content