Ever since the first photo from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald was revealed, fans have been urging J.K. Rowling to comment on Johnny Depp's casting as the film's title character. Some fans were upset by the casting of Depp, who dealt with allegations of physical assault against ex-wife Amber Heard earlier this year.
"Fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role", Rowling's statement says, bringing up how director David Yates previously talked about recasting the role. "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 wrote in a statement on her website. "For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been hard, frustrating and at times painful", Rowling continued.
Rowling went on to admit that "the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been hard, frustrating and at times painful" for her, but "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".
'However, conscience isn't governable by committee. She advocated respecting Depp and Heard's privacy in this matter, and said "we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing".
The film is set for release in November.
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Given that Grindelwald is a major part of the Fantastic Beasts saga, which will span five films, this posed a difficulty for Warner Bros. and the filmmakers. "With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something". I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He's full of decency and kindness, and that's all I see.
'We recognised the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed.
Rowling goes on to stand by Depp's casting and voice her pleasure at keeping him on for the duration of the budding franchise. Amber cited "irreconcilable differences" when she filed for divorce.
"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love".
In a statement, she said: 'As described in the restraining order and divorce settlement, money played no role for me personally and never has, except to the extent that I could donate it to charity and, in doing so'. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain.
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