Fantastic Beasts, johnny depp
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald-Source: MovieWeb

The casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald has sparked anger

Many fans of The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise have seriously questioned the decision to cast Johnny Depp as the arch-villain, Gellert Grindelwald.

The dramatic revelation of Grindelwald at the end of the film seemed to rub many the wrong way.

Fantastic Beasts
Fantastic Beasts. Source: Screen Rant.

Despite Johnny Depp’s undeniable charm and massive success over his twenty year career, his popularity as an actor has taken a serious beating in recent times.

Looking past his recent drama with ex-wife Amber, much of the criticism regarding his casting in J.K Rowling’s latest book-turned-movie is due to his appearance. In classic Johnny Depp fashion, he rocked the pale-faced makeup and bleach blond hair. This is a look that mirrored many of his past comedic characters in films such as The Lone Ranger, Alice in Wonderland, and somewhat like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

And I couldn’t agree more.

I mean, it’s pretty hard to take a guy who looks like he dresses as Dracula for halloween seriously, even if it is the iconic Johnny Depp. The look has been done way too many times for him to pull it off again.    

This is especially clear when comparing it to Colin Farrell’s portrayal of Percival Graves (who Grindelwald was impersonating). It’s hard not to be disappointed. Farrell did a really great job at bringing a dark, menacing vibe to the character that Johnny Depp failed to do in my opinion. 

Fantastic Beasts
Collin Farrell as Percival Graves. Source: CinemaBlend.

Despite all the negative feedback regarding the casting of Johnny Depp, executive producer David Heyman has defended his choice of actor:

“You have to trust us and see what he does in this movie. You won’t see very much in this movie because he appears in it very fleetingly. He appears much more in the second movie.”

“We were looking for someone who was seductive and could be charming and could be original, who was iconic, who was a great actor; and that’s what Johnny Depp is. He can be irresistible. He’s powerful. He’s created some iconic characters, and not made the obvious choices when doing so. The unpredictability of the choices he makes is part of what makes him so extraordinary and that was very exciting for us. He was the perfect choice for Grindelwald.”

Fantastic Beasts
Gellert Grindelwald. Source: Wizards And Whatnot

Whether you love or hate Johnny Depp, it’s hard to deny the fact that he is an iconic man  of sexiness.

But maybe iconic isn’t always best. Maybe fans want to see something new. Something surprising. It’s hard to be fully creeped out by a villain who fans have seen time and time again. Willy Wonka isn’t someone you would associate with a villain.

Do you agree with the casting choice? Who would you cast as Gellert Grindelwald?