J.K Rowling’s decision to cast Johnny Depp as Fantastic Beasts 2 antagonist Gellert Grindelwald has been met with pretty heavy controversy.

For context: Depp had domestic abuse allegations made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard, resulting in a number of people being upset that he’d been cast in a series and production like Harry Potter that is generally viewed as progressive.

In response to the backlash of casting Depp, both Fantastic Beasts director David Yates and J.K Rowling released statements supporting the decision to cast him in the role. Warner Bros. also spoke on the subject, releasing a post containing lines from the joint-statement that both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard worked on together, which they released after their case was settled.

Warner Bros. cited a particular line in their settlement’s statement..

“There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.”

This prompted a response from Heard, in which she expressed disappointment with Warner Bros. for having only cited one line of the joint-statement, and shared the full image of the statement to her Twitter:

The case ended up being settled in a rather peaceful manner; Heard dismissed her abuse allegations against her former husband, and following this she retracted her request for a restraining order.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Depp has spoken out on the issue, expressing regret for Rowling having felt the need to defend his casting. Depp has remained concrete in his statements of innocence in regards to any allegations from his former wife Amber Heard and mentions that he’s actively suing The Sun for defamation.

Source: Warner Bros.

Depp continued to elude to the point that Rowling knows he’s innocent, and for that reason is willing to stand by her decision.

She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it,” he said.

“I felt bad for JK having to field all these various feeling from people out there.”

He continued to say.. “But ultimately there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused… J.K has seen the evidence and therefor knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she publicly supports me.”

He concludes his interview saying he feels a responsibility to do something great with this role, he stated:

I went full tilt and headfirst into the character knowing the responsibility I had… The Potter fans are like scholars of this stuff which I find incredibly impressive. They know that world inside and out. I hope to give them something they haven’t seen before.”

The studio stands fully behind their support of Johnny Depp, along with other onset actors, one of whom commented…

It was right in the middle of you know… [allegations] I only observed him being totally sweet and professional.”

Other actors that knew Depp well have made comments supporting him as well, Paul Bettany tweeted:

“Known Johnny Depp for years and through several relationships. He’s the sweetest kindest, gentlest man that I’ve ever known. Just saying.”

Director Terry Gilliam shared a link on his Twitter leading to a statement saying..

“Like many of Johnny Depp’s friends I’m discovering that Amber is a better actress than I thought.”

Despite all the controversies with their personal life, it would appear that Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have largely settled their issues. The allegations and restraining order have been retracted,  and one of the final lines in their co-developed settlement statement states that Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future.

What are your thoughts on the controversy and the productions decision to cast him? Let us know in the comments!

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Sources: ScreenRant / Entertainment Weekly / The Guardian