Warner Bros. revealed the official title of the new Fantastic Beasts movie, the first cast photo, and some new plot details to look forward to
At a time in Hollywood when many men have lost projects in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, Johnny Depp remains a star of the Fantastic Beasts sequel.
Update: Warner Bros., director David Yates, producer David Heyman and writer J.K. Rowling all stand by that decision.
In statements obtained by USA TODAY, the studio and the filmmakers explain why Depp should keep playing villain Gellert Grindelwald, despite the actor’s ex-wife’s allegations of physical abuse made during their divorce, which was finalized in January.
Warner Bros. said it takes seriously the “complexity” of the issues involved, which surfaced at the time the short marriage between Depp and Amber Heard was breaking up late last year.
“This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said, ‘there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.’ Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films.”
Yates and Heyman’s joint statement said they tried to be “sensitive” to both parties.
“None of us involved in Fantastic Beasts would ever let our appreciation of talent obscure other, far more important considerations,” their statement said. “We recognized the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed. We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties.
“We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films.”
Rowling published a statement on her website, saying that she is not only comfortable with Depp’s casting “but genuinely happy” to have him…