Millions of Harry Potter fans were thrilled about #FantasticBeasts, and most of those people have now seen the movie. What a great number of fans were not so thrilled about was the casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald.
Whether the objection came from the strong evidence that Depp physically and emotionally abused ex-wife Amber Heard or the fact that Depp just does not fit the bill for fans' mental image of Grindelwald, his casting was widely unpopular.
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Amber Heard donated her $7 million divorce settlement to charity and the couple jointly released a statement confirming that "neither party has made false accusations for financial gains," leaving many fans uncomfortable with the casting of Johnny Depp as Potterverse villain Gellert Grindelwald. Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman spoke to Collider about casting Depp:
"What we wanted was an iconic actor to play Grindelwald, because Grindelwald is an iconic character who has a significant place in this story. His ability to persuade the hearts and minds, to persuade people to follow him is essential to this story.
We were looking for someone who was seductive and could be charming and could be original, who was iconic, who was a great actor; and that’s what Johnny Depp is. He can be irresistible. He’s powerful. He’s created some iconic characters, and not made the obvious choices when doing so. The unpredictability of the choices he makes is part of what makes him so extraordinary and that was very exciting for us. He was the perfect choice for Grindelwald."
Hmmmm. There was audible discomfort from the audience in many screenings of Fantastic Beasts (someone actually shouted "wife-beater!" when he appeared on screen in the movie theater when I saw the film). Besides, is Depp really right for the role?
Let's be real: When Depp turned up in the twist ending of Fantastic Beasts, he looked a bit...weird? The whole platinum blonde and creepy contact lens thing was a bit bizarre, and he just looked too old for the part — Grindelwald was born around 1883, and the action of Fantastic Beasts takes place in 1926. This puts his age at 43 (Depp is 53), and wizards don't age as fast as muggles (allowing Dumbledore to be 116 at the time of his death, so a younger actor around his thirties would have been more appropriate.
Whatever your thoughts, what's been done is done. We can expect to see Depp in the next FOUR Fantastic Beasts movies, starting with Fantastic Beasts 2 around November 2018.
What was your reaction to Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts'?
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures
Are you more into Beauty and the Beast or Fantastic Beasts? Here's a beast of a mash-up between the two trailers: