Harry Potter’ author Jk Rowling has defended the decision to cast Johnny Depp in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them prequel.

53 year old Depp, who faced domestic abuse allegations in his acrimonious divorce from Amber Heard earlier this year, makes a cameo appearance as the wicked dark wizard Grindelwald in the film, which is released next week and has a more prominent role in the planned sequel.

JK RowlingJK Rowling has defended Depp's inclusion in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them'

At the movie’s premiere in New York City on Thursday night (November 10th), Rowling said that she was “delighted” to have secured Depp for his part in the film and that he had done “incredible things” with his portrayal.

Depp filmed his brief role in Fantastic Beasts… back in January, months before the news broke of his divorce and the allegations, which the actor has consistently denied. The director, David Yates, asked Potter fans to keep faith with the filmmakers that he was the right choice for the portrayal.

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

“What you have to remember about Johnny is that extraordinary talent and that talent never goes away. Hollywood is such a fickle place. People go up and go down. He's a huge Potter fan. He loves the world. He was beyond excited about working on this material. In fact he didn't even want to see a script, he just said 'I'm in'.”

It has also been suggested that the sequel to Fantastic Beasts, due in 2018, could feature a gay relationship between Depp's Grindelwald and a young Professor Dumbledore from the original Harry Potter stories.

Addressing that rumour, Rowling said: “I can't tell you everything I'd like to say because obviously it's a five-part story and there's lots to unpack in that relationship. I will say you'll see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man because he wasn't always the sage. He was always very clever.”

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