Yesterday, Warner Bros., along with director David Yates and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, released individual statements defending the casting of Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. While Rowling admitted she understood if fans decided to boycott the film, Warner Bros. and Yates opted to take another road, seeming to suggest Heard's claims against Depp were unsubstantial. Now, Heard is firing back in a statement posted to her Instagram earlier today.
In the statement released by Warner Bros. on behalf of Yates the studio went on to say, "We are of course aware of reports that surfaced around the end of Johnny Depp’s marriage, and take seriously the complexity of the issues involved." The studio continued by commenting on the joint statement Depp and Heard released after the dissolution of their marriage, “This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said 'there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.'" It was this portion of the statement that forced Heard to comment, as she grew seemingly frustrated at their decision to cherry pick lines from their divorce statement and use them out of context.
Taking to Instagram, Heard expressed her anger by posting the original joint statement along with the comment, "For the record, this was our FULL joint statement. To pick and choose certain lines and quote them out of context, is just not right. Women, continue to stand up and stay strong. Love, Amber."
Depp was cast as the evil wizard Gellert Grindlewald last year shortly after reports of abuse in his marriage to Heard surfaced, leading to plenty of controversy surrounding his part in the film with fans calling for the studio to recast the role. Things began to heat up again in recent weeks when the studio released a first look at the cast including Depp. The debate surrounding Depp's casting comes at a time when Hollywood is beginning to penalize those with accusations of sexual assault and harassment against them following the Weinstein scandal.
Interestingly enough, both Depp and Heard are currently employed by Warner Bros. with the actress portraying Mera in its DC Comics-based films, having made her debut in November's Justice League. She is next set to appear in 2018's Aquaman.
Arriving Nov. 16, 2018, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald is directed by David Yates, with Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram producing. The film also stars Katherine Waterston as Tina, Alison Sudol as Queenie, Dan Fogler as Jacob, Ezra Miller as Credence, Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange and Callum Turner as Theseus Scamander.