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I feel about Fantastic Beasts the way I feel about the new Star Wars movies. Even though it was highly entertaining and true to the spirit of the central films, it’s not an original. I love going to the movies though and I’m happy that they’re making new films in the HP universe, although I would like them better if we had cameos from some of the main cast. It’s not possible with the timeline of Fantastic Beasts, so so they’re pulling in bigger names because some a-hole producers surely think they need to do that to draw more of an audience.
As you know Johnny Depp is playing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, out this November. Given Johnny’s well documented domestic abuse, you would think that he would have been recast, however that wasn’t the case. J.K. Rowling issued a statement saying that they were “genuinely happy to have Johnny” in the role, stating that his abuse of his ex wife, Amber Heard, (my words) was a private matter and that “both [parties] have expressed a desire to get on with their lives.” Well Amber tweeted that her statement was taken out of context and advised other women to “stay strong” so we know how she feels about that.
While Rowling may have disappointed fans with her response to Johnny’s casting, we always have HP star Daniel Radcliffe (please Gods let us always have Daniel Radcliffe). He told EW that Depp in the role was “a very hard thing for me” and brought up that others have been fired from the franchise for much less.
“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Radcliffe said, noting he wants to be supportive of the film’s producers who “gave me a great start in life and an amazing job.”
But, he added, “I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that … I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original Potter] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
EW reminds us that Radcliffe is “referring to actor Jamie Waylett, who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe.” Waylett plead guilty in 2009 to growing pot in his mom’s basement and he got fired for it. Meanwhile, like NFL players, others are “accused” of domestic assault and horrific abuse. Perhaps because those cases are rarely prosecuted, and the perpetrators make a lot of money for people, they get a pass. I’m voting with my wallet though and am skipping this one. I’m sick of seeing Johnny Depp’s mug on the big screen too, so it won’t be too hard not to spend my money. Now what is Daniel Radcliffe in next – he’s promoting his upcoming TBS comedy, Miracle Workers, costarring Steve Buscemi. Buscemi plays God and Radcliffe is one of “low-level angels [who] must convince their boss to save humanity.” That looks good! He also has Beast of Burden out sometime this February. I’ll keep an eye out for that one.