London, Dec 8 (IANS) Author J.K. Rowling, the screenplay writer of the sequel to “Fantastic Beasts” movie, says she is happy to have actor Johnny Depp in the film.
Her comment comes after the makers of the franchise faced backlash from fans as Depp’s divorce from actress Amber Heard was on the basis of domestic violence.
In a statement on her own website, Rowling said filmmakers had considered recasting the role of villain Gellert Grindelwald for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, reports theguradian.com.
“‘Harry Potter’ fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. 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,” she posted.
“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”.
The Warner Bros movie, slated to be released in November next year, is the second from the planned five movie spinoff franchise from the Harry Potter films.
Depp’s marriage to Heard ended in divorce amid Heard’s allegations of domestic abuse.
After reaching a private settlement in August 2016, the couple issued a joint statement saying their relationship was “intensely passionate and at times volatile but always bound by love” and that there was “never any intent of physical or emotional harm”.
On Thursday, Warner Bros also supported the decision to keep Depp in an official statement by them. Director David Yates and producer David Heyman said in a joint statement that while recognising “the magnitude of the issues raised” they stood by the decision to cast Depp.
Yates also defended the casting of Depp, saying he was “full of decency and kindness”.
“There’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening,” he said.
“With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something… Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with,” read the statement.