Ever since Johnny Depp was cast as the villain Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise, the response has been a mixed bag. Many fans are unconvinced that Depp could pull it off because many of his more recent roles have bled into each other and have come off as a bit cartoonish.
Executive producer David Heyman is quick to defend Depp’s casting and claims that Depp has already created iconic characters in the past and will continue to do so in this role.
“He’s iconic. He’s an iconic actor and we needed an iconic actor to play this part. Johnny’s created two or three iconic people, people who are unforgettable. He makes choices, and that was really, really important … [we] wanted somebody who could, in the one hand, seduce, but, on the other hand, be really scary. Johnny can do that. He was an absolute pleasure to work with.”
Director David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter films and will direct all five of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, shared Heyman’s sentiments about Depp’s casting.
“You have to trust us and see what he does in this movie. You won’t see very much in this movie because he appears in it very fleetingly. He appears much more in the second movie. What you have to remember about Johnny is that extraordinary talent and that talent never goes away. Hollywood is such a fickle place. People go up and go down. He’s a huge Potter fan. He loves the world. He was beyond excited about working on this material. In fact he didn’t even want to see a script, he just said ‘I’m in.’”
Author-turned-screenwriter J.K. Rowling also approves of Depp, saying she’s “delighted” and that the actor has already “done incredible things with the character”.
Grindelwald will have a bigger role in the Fantastic Beasts sequel where Dumbledore will also appear. The sequel will be set in Paris.
What do you think of Depp’s casting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is now in theaters.