The official trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald debuted at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, and was, controversially, followed by an appearance by Johnny Depp in character as the titular Gellert Grindlewald. Warner Bros’ decision to roll Depp out was met with outrage by fans, who booed the alleged domestic abuser, pointing out that his ex-wife and accuser Amber Heard was on the following panel, promoting her new movie Aquaman.
In 2016, Heard was awarded $5 million in her case against Depp, all of which she donated to charity. Outraged at Warner Bros’ perceived continued support of an alleged domestic abuser, fans of the Fantastic Beasts franchise demanded that Depp be recast, even calling for a boycott of the films. Controversy surrounding Depp’s retention in the role intensified when J.K. Rowling issued a statement in support of Depp.
Possibly due to acknowledging the unrest surrounding his presence at Comic Con, Depp did not participate in the panel discussion.
Fans and commentators took to Twitter to protest both his presence at the convention, and the proximity of his panel to Amber Heard’s, which was deemed extremely inappropriate.
WB brought Johnny Depp out for the Fantastic Beasts panel (as a surprise!!!) immediately proceeding their Aquaman panel, featuring Amber Heard. That makes me nauseous.
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) July 21, 2018
whoever invited johnny depp to the hall h panel today when they knew full fucking well that amber heard was gonna be there and would probably see him – i hate you and i hope you get fired
— kat ✩ 4 (@aquamras) July 21, 2018
wow there still are people defending johnny depp in this economy pic.twitter.com/J8WRnRVjIX
— baby, I don’t have a diamond yet (@oceannsgay) July 23, 2018
Depp’s inclusion in the upcoming second installment is not the only aspect of the franchise currently courting controversy. The production recently came under fire after director David Yates confirmed that Dumbledore’s sexuality will not be explicitly addressed. It has been some years since J.K. Rowling confirmed that that the character of Albus Dumbledore is gay, though this is never specifically addressed in the books or films. Fans were hoping that film-makers would seize the opportunity to explore Dumbledore’s identity and provide representation for the LGBT community in the Fantastic Beasts series, and therefore Yates’ statement caused outcry, and renewed calls for a boycott of the series.
Watch the trailer for The Crimes of Grindelwald below.
Featured Image Via US Weekly