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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Controversy

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“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is the newest movie of the Harry Potter universe, and it is set to be release in November 2018.

The first trailer for the film was released on March 13, and fans have been buzzing ever since.

Curiously, a rather simple shot with only an ominous bell-ringing as it plays instead of the fast-paced music that precedes it is getting the most attention out of all of the clips in the trailer.

Johnny Depp, playing the title character of Gellert Grindelwald in this film, stares down the camera. His pale complection accompanied by the platinum-colored hair that is characteristic of his role stands out starkly against the dark background. He sits like a full moon in a dark, star-less sky, and seems to be locking eyes directly with all who view the trailer.

One eye is masked by a pale-hued contact, but it’s more than just the color that contributes to his icy gaze.

Many have been debating over whether or not the decision to keep Depp in the films after allegations of domestic abuse were brought against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard was well thought-out, and the bleak, almost challenging look on Depp’s face in the trailer really sends a chill down the spine of anyone who may question his morals.

Amber Heard has made numerous statements surrounding Depp’s physical, emotional, and verbal abuse towards her. She was seen with a bruise on her cheek, which she stated was caused by Depp, and recounted several instances of his wild behavior including a time he allegedly wrote her unsettling messages in blood.

All of that being said, Depp and Heard’s divorce was finalized in January 2017, and to the outrage of many who know the details, Depp was hardly affected at all by the release of information about his treatment towards his now ex-wife.

Despite the fact that many have questioned whether or not he deserves to keep his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series, both the director of the series, David Yates, and JK Rowling have publicly defended their decision to keep Depp in the films.

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 elaborated on his experience with Depp.

The conflicting accounts of Depp’s character have left the public in a state of confusion. Do they support the movie that has been heavily anticipated by fans of the franchise ever since the release of the first Fantastic Beasts film, or do they disassociate themselves from a series that involves an alleged abuser?

We naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen,” Rowling acknowledged the situation in a statement.

“The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people [Depp and Heard], both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected,” the famous Harry Potter author continued.

She went on to state that Depp will keep his role as Grindelwald and that she is comfortable with that decision. There has been widespread criticism of JK Rowling’s lack of anger towards Depp, especially considering she approved the firing of an actor in the original Harry Potter series for growing marijuana, a crime that pales in comparison to domestic abuse.

Amber Heard even called out Rowling’s statement, seeming aggravated with how everything was handled.

“For the record, this was our FULL joint statement. To pick & choose certain lines & quote them out of context, is not right. Women, stay strong,” Heard tweeted alongside a link to the statement regarding the divorce. Rowling seemed to have misused the information presented; her exact motivation for defending Johnny Depp seems unfounded and unclear.

The situation is especially confusing considering that Rowling suffered through domestic abuse from her first husband, Jorge Arantes. Given that information, one would assume that Rowling would support Heard, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Rowling has not out-right opposed Heard, of course, but many feel that the British author should have been much more supportive. It can only be speculated how much choice she had in the matter of keeping Depp in the films, or what her true feelings on the situation are seeing that her quote seems to allude to the fact that she had more to say.

Not everyone is upset about the speculation surrounding Johnny Depp. With the go-ahead from Rowling and Yates, some fans have felt comfortable supporting Depp as the notorious Harry Potter villain.

With many acting accolades surrounding his name, there is some excitement surrounding Depp’s involvement with Fantastic Beasts.

“I like Depp as an actor,” said senior and Harry Potter fan Michelle Pierce, “So I’m looking forward to seeing him in the new movie.”

JK Rowling’s approval of Depp is not the only problem fans are having with her recently. There was a popular movement of fans within the Harry Potter community that felt that the character Dumbledore was gay, and had romantic feelings for the character Grindelwald. Rowling actually confirmed this theory, but is seeming to not follow through with it as it has been stated that in the Fantastic Beasts films, Dumbledore will not be “explicitly gay”.

Many fans have seen this as a frustrating, even mildly homophobic act as it seems that Rowling simply refuses to show Dumbledore as gay. It cannot be determined what the author’s motivation for Dumbledore’s lack of obvious sexuality is, nor what her true feelings on how he should be represented are, but the fact stands that many fans are upset.

Despite the immense controversy surrounding multiple aspects of the film, there is still a great deal of excitement for its release on Nov. 16, 2018.

 

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Controversy