Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald Star Ezra Miller Defends Nagini Casting
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is arriving in cinemas next month with a surprising amount of controversy behind it. A recent source of debate has stemmed from the final trailer’s footage of Korean actress Claudia Kim as the woman who transforms into Voldemort’s pet snake Nagini. It was a reveal that received heavy backlash, with users across social media condemning the inclusion as racially insensitive.
Nonetheless, at least one of Kim’s co-stars feels that her performance offers something to look forward to. In the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff, Ezra Miller will be reprising his role as Credence Barebone, whose internal conflict was at the center of 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the star argues that Kim’s performance is a force to be reckoned with.
“Claudia Kim is a living god,” the Justice League star stated. “You’re about to get your head blown off. There’s going to be a venom in your veins that you’ll feel just like love. Prepare yourselves for Nagini. This is a tragic and beautiful story that in some ways we already know the end of.”
Much of the criticism for the Nagini development has been directed towards writer J.K. Rowling, who has since defended her choice with the claim that she was simply drawing on Indonesian ‘Naga’ mythology. In the same EW piece that quoted Miller, Kim herself offered hints that Nagini’s a more well-rounded character than her quick appearance in the trailer would suggest:
“You’ve only seen her as Horcrux. In this, she’s a wonderful and vulnerable woman who wants to live, she wants to stay a human being and I think that’s a wonderful contrast to the character.”
On a related note, an older source of controversy for the sequel has been the continuing presence of alleged domestic abuser Johnny Depp, who’s set to return as Grindelwald not just in this next film but also in the planned Fantastic Beasts 3. Earlier this week, Depp addressed his detractors, claiming once more that the accusations are false and that he has the evidence to prove it.
Regardless of where you stand on these issues, there’s every chance that these tensions will only have escalated by the time Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters on November 16th, to be eventually followed by Fantastic Beasts 3 on November 20th, 2020.