Shortly before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released in November 2016, news of Depp's stunt casting leaked in the media. He appeared briefly at the end of the movie, with the promise of a bigger return in its sequel, set for release on Nov. 16, 2018. Earlier that year, Depp's volatile marriage to Amber Heard made headlines, leading some to question his casting.
Last month, director David Yates defended his decision to keep Depp. "Honestly, there's an issue at the moment where there's a lot of people being accused of things, they're being accused by multiple victims, and it's compelling and frightening. 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," he told Entertainment Weekly. Calling it a "dead issue," he said "some of the women" in Depp's life have defended him against the claims made by his ex-wife. "It's very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn't in that category in any shape or form," Yates explained. "So to me, it doesn't bear any more analysis."