Rowling nearly dropped Depp from Potter film over abuse claim
JK ROWLING has defended the casting of Johnny Depp in a Harry Potter spinoff following allegations of domestic abuse, as she revealed she considered pulling him off the film.
A number of fans had expressed their disappointment that Depp was to appear as Grindelwald in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel after he was accused of domestic violence by his ex-wife, Amber Heard, last year.
Rowling, who writes the spin-off film series, said that the allegations “deeply concerned” her at the time, while Depp was filming his small part in the first film, and that she and David Yates, its director, did consider recasting the role for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
However, she said that, while she understood that not all fans would be satisfied, she was “genuinely happy” to have Depp play a leading character.
She wrote in a statement: “Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting.”
She said she understood why “some have been confused and angry” that Depp was not recast, and that not being able to speak openly with fans about the issues “has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful”.
She added: “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.”
Depp and Heard, who split in April last year after 15 months of marriage, later issued a joint statement saying there was “never any intent of physical or emotional harm”.
Johnny Depp, far right, returns as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, for the forthcoming Harry Potter spin-off film sequel Fantastic Breasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald