'Fantastic Beasts' Director Defends Casting Johnny Depp As Grindelwald

In the post-Weinstein era, certain stars and filmmakers have become radioactive. Had plans to make a movie with Kevin Spacey? Might want to hold yer horses there, bub. Some have managed to skate on by relatively unscathed, though. Mel Gibson's offenses came so early that he's already been forgiven, which is sorta weird. And there's also Johnny Depp, who continues to appear in movies like it ain't nothin' despite allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-wife, Amber Heard.

Despite this, and that he hasn't had a non-Jack Sparrow hit movie in ages, Depp is busier than ever. And one of his most prominent roles is coming up when he plays the evil Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. There are plenty of voices out there condemning Depp's continued presence in the world J.K. Rowling built, a world that is fairly wholesome, but director David Yates has nothing but good things to say in his comments to EW...

Honestly there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”

Yates continues to back him up by saying Depp has defenders in some of the past women in his life, and because there aren't multiple accusations against him...

By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know. It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”

If you're talkin' about it, it's not a dead issue. Anyway, it's not up to Yates to decide Depp's guilt or innocence, but the court of public opinion can be quite lethal. They better hope nothing else about Depp becomes public.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald opens November 16th 2018.