It’s been a turbulent couple of years for Johnny Depp, both on and off screen. His box office star has been diminishing, and there have been numerous issues in his private life – not least allegations of domestic violence from his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Given these allegations, Warner Bros. found itself coming in for some heavy criticism last year over the decision to keep Depp involved as Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – prompting both creator J.K. Rowling and director David Yates to speak out in support of the actor.
Now Depp himself has weighed in on the backlash in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, stating that he feels bad that J.K. Rowling came under fire for lending him her support:
“I’ll be honest with you, I felt bad for JK [Rowling] having to field all these various feelings from people out there,” said Depp. “I felt bad that she had to take that. But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing The Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. JK has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that’s why she has publicly supported me. She doesn’t take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn’t know the truth. So that’s really it.”
At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set for release on November 16th 2018 and sees David Yates directing a cast that includes Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone, Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy, Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander, William Nadylam as Yusuf Kama, Ingvar Sigurdsson as Grimmson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson as Skender, David Sakurai as Krall, Brontis Jodorowsky as Nicolas Flamel, Wolf Roth as Spielman, Victoria Yeates as Bunty, Derek Riddell as Torquil Travers, Poppy Corby-Tuech as Rosier, Cornell S. John as Arnold Guzman and Claudia Kim as Maledictus.