‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is in UK cinemas this week but while fans generally seem to be on board with the film, opinion remains over one of its newest additions.
We are of course referring to Johnny Depp who has a small yet uncredited cameo in the fantasy franchise as Gellert Grindelwald. It’s been confirmed that Depp will have a bigger part to play in the sequel (and possibly beyond) but after his very public marital exploits with Amber Heard and the accusations that he is domestically abusive, opinion on the actor is now split.
The film’s producer David Heyman is delighted with Depp’s addition to the extended universe, as is ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ screenwriter J.K. Rowling. Speaking to Cinema Blend, Heyman said the actor was the ideal choice.
“One of the things about Johnny is that he’s an artist, he’s a great actor, he has created iconic characters, he’s played those parts in a surprising way. And I think that’s what we wanted. We wanted someone with authority and charm, who could seduce you in one hand but kill you in the other, and who would be surprising. Who is a great actor, who you could imagine in the world.”
It’s interesting that there are clearly some fans and indeed industry types that separate someone’s personal life (and any controversies) from appearing on screen in a movie. There are others that, for moral reasons, cannot, which is where we find ourselves with the Depp situation. No doubt some will be put off with his appearance, whereas others simply won’t care.
Yet it seems that the filmmakers have taken a firm stance of backing the actor, despite a number of domestic abuse claimed against him by Heard.
Heyman goes on to say that he’s the most experienced, most talented person to assume the role and has no regrets in casting him.
“When you think of all the actors that are fearless, that are real artists, who in their career have created characters that have become a firm part of our culture, it’s quite a short list. And you think of an actor that’s going to come at it with a real sense of ambition – fierce ambition. And Johnny just kind of felt like a natural fit for all of that. And it’s a big pair of shoes to fill. And we were all very excited about him joining the film.”
Fans, especially on Twitter, don’t seem particularly convinced. And let’s face it, you don’t want to upset the fandom. However, opinion over Depp’s inclusion remains very mixed on social media.
There are those that, regardless of what he’s accused of, still adore him.
Fantastic Beasts was superb. Eddie Redmayne nailed it too! Johnny Depp’s character was mind-boggling.
— Emma Go (@_CamRen________)
— Jazmin Escobar (@ee_scz)
— sister honey (@genuinelyvee)
And then there are those who cannot look beyond his alleged crimes and don’t want anything to do with him.
I hate Johnny Depp. He ruined Fantastic Beasts for me. Like straight up I saw his face and clocked out of that movie.
— Marlo Griffith (@heliocentrifuge)
I loved Fantastic Beasts. But the one minute that Johnny Depp, a known domestic abuser spent on the screen had me feeling sick to my stomach
— Freya π (@OPieceOPi)
“Johnny Depp’s role is tiny, so it doesn’t bother me”
And this ladies & gentlemen, is why the world is the way it is today#FantasticBeasts
— Robert Manion (@robertmanion)
Either way the subject will continue to divide audiences as he’s set for a meatier role in the next film. Hopefully such controversies won’t prove too damaging for the franchise which is already making waves at the box office.
Picture credit: Warner Bros., Twitter, WENN