J.K. Rowling has always been an avid voice of feminism and equality — which made some Harry Potter fans that more upset over the casting of Johnny Depp in her upcoming prequel series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The beloved film franchise faced criticism for casting the Hollywood star after he faced serious domestic abuse allegations during his divorce battle with Amber Heard earlier this year.
But at the Fantastic Beasts New York premiere on Thursday night, Rowling defended Depp's involvement, saying she was "delighted" to have him join her Wizarding World!
Photos: Rowling Is Pure Elegance At Fantastic Beasts Premiere
Speaking on the controversial casting choice, the author said the actor has done "incredible things" with his portrayal of dark wizard Grindelwald.
Director David Yates echoed Rowling's sentiment, urging fans to trust the filmmakers about his casting. He told reporters:
"You have to trust us and see what he does in this movie. You won't see very much in [Fantastic Beasts] because he appears in it very fleetingly. He appears much more in the second movie."
For the record, Depp filmed his Fantastic Beasts cameo in January — well before any of the domestic abuse allegations came out.
Yates said that while the 53-year-old may be a controversial figure at the moment, the next Hollywood scandal will make us forget all about what came out in his messy divorce. He continued:
"What you have to remember about Johnny is that extraordinary talent and that talent never goes away. Hollywood is such a fickle place. People go up and go down."
The director also revealed Depp is all about the Potterverse, saying:
"He's a huge Potter fan. He loves the world. He was beyond excited about working on this material. In fact he didn't even want to see a script, he just said 'I'm in'."
At least he sounds super committed!
Related: Johnny Recalls Daughter Lily-Rose's Scary 2007 Illness
As for how the role will expand, it's been rumored the Fantastic Beasts sequel may feature a relationship between Depp's Grindelwald and a young Professor Dumbledore. Rowling said about the rumored relationship:
"I can't tell you everything I'd like to say because obviously it's a five-part story and there's lots to unpack in that relationship. I will say you'll see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man because he wasn't always the sage. He was always very clever. We'll see him at what I think was the formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space."
We'll take that as a big, gay YES!
Do YOU think Depp should have been cast in Fantastic Beasts?
[Image via FayesVision/Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]
Tags: amber heard, bookz, controversy, david yates, fantastic beasts and where to find them, film flickers, gay gay gay, harry potter, j.k. rowling, johnny depp, violence