We just recently passed the one year anniversary of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, and the moment the #MeToo movement kicked into high gear. And yet, multiple men accused of abusive behavior and/or sexual misconduct continue to have careers. Do whatever you want, and you’ll still get confirmed for the highest court in the land or get to star in one of the biggest movie franchises ever!
Johnny Depp is one of the several whose career remains impervious to allegations. In 2016, the actor was accused of physical and emotional abuse by ex-wife Amber Heard, who also shared a photo of a black eye, claiming it was caused by Depp. (Depp has denied the allegations and the domestic violence case was dismissed when the two reached a divorce settlement.) Despite that, Depp had a small role in the first Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts, a casting decision that prompted backlash. His dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald even led to fan petitions urging for his recasting, but Warner Bros. responded by making him the central focus of the new sequel. The Crimes of Grindelwald isn’t even out for another month, and Depp has now already confirmed he’s returning to the franchise for the third installment.
During a recent visit to the Zurich Film Festival for his new movie Richard Says Goodbye, Depp spoke at a panel conversation (via Collider, h/t Indiewire) about the Potter spinoff. When asked whether he enjoyed playing the evil wizard, Depp said:
The possibilities in that world are wide open, so you can really try anything. So it was a gas and I look forward to the next installment, which I think we start the middle of next year.
The news isn’t too surprising, considering how the studio, as well as director David Yates and J.K. Rowling, have come to Depp’s defense. In a troublesome statement Yates said, “Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.” Rowling later said she was “comfortable” and “genuinely happy“ with keeping Depp on board.
Given that, there’s really no reason to expect Warner Bros. to change their mind for the five-movie franchise. We know Grindelwald is bound to stick around for at least the next couple films – he has to duel Dumbledore for the Elder Wand eventually. But between the casting and the fact that the beloved Hogwarts headmaster isn’t being depicted as opnely gay in the next movie, there’s a lot for Potter fans to be upset about. But regardless of how you feel about the Depp casting, you can’t deny Colin Farrell would make a much better Grindelwald. Bring him back damn it! This is the wizarding world; you couldn’t have a better excuse for recasting.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters November 16.