Public opinion has completely turned on its head since Johnny Depp was first announced to be joining the Fantastic Beasts franchise as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald. At the time, the actor was in the midst of battling allegations of domestic abuse towards ex-wife Amber Heard, and his highest profile supporter was creator J.K. Rowling, who repeatedly defended the decision to cast the Pirates of the Caribbean star.
Fast forward to now, and the roles have been completely reversed. After being forced to step down from Fantastic Beasts 3 following the outcome of his libel trial against a British tabloid, fans have fully thrown their weight and support behind the 57 year-old, while Rowling is currently persona non grata in many circles.
The Harry Potter author has been facing widespread accusations of transphobia, and every time she attempts to deny them, she ends up digging herself even deeper into the hole. In fact, a quick glance at the internet makes it seem clear that fans would much rather have Depp remain onboard the Fantastic Beasts series than Rowling, which is a far cry from the situation several years ago.
Despite being his most ardent supporter during the initial wave of backlash that greeted his casting, though, Rowling has so far refused to be drawn into Depp’s dismissal, and a new report from THR claims that she didn’t push back on Warner Bros.’ decision to cut ties with the 57 year-old at all.
“One source says that Fantastic Beasts writer J.K. Rowling — Depp’s highest-profile backer — did not push back on Warners’ move to cut the actor from the franchise.”
Of course, the last thing that Fantastic Beasts 3 needed was more controversy after Depp, Rowling and Ezra Miller have all found themselves in the headlines for the wrong reasons this year, and now the studio are facing a potential boycott when the movie arrives in the summer of 2022.