Johnny Depp Defends JK Rowling's Casting Of Him In Fantastic Beasts Sequel

JK Rowling has been forced to defend the casting of a South Korean actress for the role of Nagini in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel.

Claudia Kim was revealed to be playing Nagini – a human with cursed blood who has the ability to transform into a snake – in the final trailer for the upcoming Crimes Of Grindelwald.

But some fans are concerned that the series – which in the past has been criticised for lacking any representation of persons of colour – has decided to try and shoe horn a woman of colour into a leading role but one which is a submissive character that is the property of villain Voldemort.

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Claudia Kim will star as Nagini, who becomes Voldemort’s final Horcrux (Picture: WB)

‘Listen Joanne, we get it, you didn’t include enough representation when you wrote the books. But suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage,’ wrote one fan after the news of Kim’s casting, but Rowling responded to defend the decision.

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‘The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name “Nagini”. They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi,’ she wrote, before concluding, ‘have a lovely day’ and adding the snake emoji.

The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day 🐍

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 26, 2018

But the author’s answer did not appease concerns, with one replying to suggest Rowling has ‘repeatedly [tried] to retroactively shoe horn representation into your books which did not exist in the texts, belittling the communities you’re trying to take credit for championing we’d like to know why you think this is appropriate’.

Another reminded Rowling that the greater concern is a wider issue of diversity and the problem with Nagina is ‘that (1) Asians are peripheral in a white-centric world, (2) Asian women exist to mainly serve white men’s interests, and (3) Asian men don’t exist at all’.

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Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore, Ezra Miller as Credence and Claudia Kim as Nagini (Picture: WB)

The upcoming movie has also been criticised for the decision not to focus on the romance between Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).

Director David Yates confirmed that the movie will not ‘explicitly’ reference Dumbledore as gay – even though it’s been over 10 years since JK Rowling confirmed his sexuality – with Yates claiming that as fans are ‘aware’ of his sexuality, there was no need to mention it on screen.

The film has also hit headlines for Rowling and Yates’ response to concerns that they had cast Depp in a main role, despite accusations of domestic violence and physical assault levelled against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard.

>>> Novelist J.K. Rowling attends Harry Potter and the Cursed Child gala performance at the Palace Theatre in London, England on 30 July 2016. Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany. File photo dated 30/07/16 of JK Rowling who has hit back at Jeremy Corbyn supporters who compare the Labour leader to her character Dumbledore. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday August 31, 2016. Backers of Mr Corbyn say he is a socialist version of the popular headmaster who sports a flowing white beard in Ms Rowling's best-selling series of wizard novels. See PA story POLITICS Rowling. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Rowling is the author of the Harry Potter series (Picture: PA)

Yates told Entertainment Weekly: ‘With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.’

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Depp denied the allegations, and after the divorce was finalised, the exes said in a statement: ‘Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.’

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out in the UK on 16 November 16, 2018.

MORE: Macaulay Culkin sends CV to JK Rowling for a role in new Fantastic Beasts movie amid casting controversy

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Source : https://metro.co.uk/2018/09/27/jk-rowling-defends-casting-of-south-korean-actress-as-a-snake-in-fantastic-beasts-sequel-7982995/

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