Recently, the first teaser trailer for the Fantastic Beasts sequel was released, and the PotterVerse is going nuts. But, it’s not all out of excitement. Some people have taken issue with the casting for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
In particular, they are upset about who is playing the title character.
The movie’s Twitter page posted the announcement, and while it got over 90,0000 likes, a lot of people expressed their disapproval that Johnny Depp would be reprising his role as Gellert Grindelwald. In the first film, Grindelwald was revealed to be the new franchise villain, like Voldemort was in the Harry Potter series.
“During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me,” she stated. “I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.” She went on to say that much of his aggression stemmed from his drug and alcohol abuse.
Along with the restraining order filing, Heard submitted a photo of the physical abuse she endured during an incident on May 21. In the photo, there is a visible bruise forming under her eye. She said that on that day, Depp began obsessing about false information and that an “inebriated and high” Depp “would up his arm like a baseball pitcher and threw a cell phone at me striking my cheek and eye with great force,” Heard stated in the documents.
After Depp allegedly threw the cell phone, he continued attacking Heard until a friend and neighbor stepped in. He then supposedly grabbed a large bottle of champagne and started smashing things around the house. Police were called to the scene, but did not see evidence of a crime.
When Heard showed up to court on the 27th, she still had bruises from the alleged May 21st attack on her face. The judge granted Heard a temporary restraining order, stating that Depp must keep 100 yards away from Heard at all times. She didn’t win her petition to have Depp provide her with spousal support and for him to cover her attorney fees.
Depp was not present at the hearing. He was on tour with his band Hollywood Vampires in Europe. His lawyer, Laura Wasser, represented Depp in court. She denied all abuse allegations on Depp’s behalf. Wasser said that Heard is “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.”
When their divorce was finalized in August 2016, Heard and Depp released a joint statement to TMZ:
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.”
People had originally jumped on Fantastic Beasts producers for casting Depp in the first place. But, producers claimed that Depp was already contracted for his brief role in the first film before there were allegations made against him. “We cast Johnny because he’s a great actor,” said producer David Heyman. “The decision was made before any of this came down.” However, all the allegations were addressed before Depp was asked to return for the sequel, and that’s why some people are upset.
People took to Twitter and created the hashtag #NotMyGrindelwald in protest of the casting choice. Some tweeted directly at Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for giving the okay to letting Depp star in the film (she is a producer on the film). “@jk_rowling I will never forgive you for defending a female aggressor, that is not what you taught us #NotMyGrindelwald,” tweeted one angry fan.
Following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, we find ourselves in a time where people are no longer accepting powerful men’s predatorial and abusive behavior in Hollywood and in the world of politics. Every week, there are new allegations brought against the biggest players in Hollywood and Washington.
In light of the allegations that were brought against Kevin Spacey, the disgraced actor was fired from several projects, including his Netflix series House of Cards. He was also recently replaced in the upcoming Ridley Scott film, All the Money in the World, with Christopher Plummer, just two months before the release. So, with the release of Fantastic Beasts2, nearly a year away, many are arguing that Depp can be easily replaced.
But, producer David Heyman and director David Yates, seem like they’re going to stick to their decision to cast Depp. The allegations against him were settled, and Heyman had previously stated no one really knows what happened. “Here’s the thing: Misogyny, abuse, maltreatment of people is unacceptable – but none of us know what happened in that room. I think it would be unfair for me to be judge and jury, or for any of us to be judge and jury,” Heyman said.
“The whole principal of casting the movie was [to] go with the best actor. Go for the most inspired, interesting, right fit for that character. And as we approached Grindelwald we thought, 'Who's going to take this in an interesting direction?' In this business, it's a weird old business. You're brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down. But no one takes away your pure talent."
However, may fans are still outraged and Depp’s casting is undeniably putting a damper on the entire film.