Director David Yates is coming to Johnny Depp's defense once again as he explains why the actor was cast in the Fantastic Beasts 2 film. The uproar regarding the actor playing Grindelwald first began last year when the news was announced, but the controversy surrounding the decision is only growing stronger.
The cause for fans' disapproval stems from Depp domestic abuse case against Amber Heard—which is a major factor in the current midst of Hollywood's constant unveiling of actors and executives who have been accused of sexual assault, harassment, abuse and misconduct. In a new interview with EW, Yates claims Depp is innocent. Cue the problematic quote:
“Honestly, 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. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”
“By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing—‘that’s not the human being we know," Yates continued. "It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”
Back in November, the director first explained the controversial casting with The Leaky Cauldron. "The whole principal of casting the movie was go with the best actor. Go for the most inspired, interesting, right fit for that character. And as we approached Grindelwald we thought, ‘who’s going to take this in an interesting direction?" he said. "In this business, it’s a weird old business. You’re brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down. But no one takes away your pure talent."
Along with Yates returning to helm Fantastic Beasts 2 (which is set in Paris), J.K. Rowling will pen the script once again. Last October, she confirmed the franchise will span five movies. Look out for the sequel's premiere on Nov. 16, 2018. Next, listen to Fuse's Back of the Class podcast talk about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child below: