Warner Bros. "panicked" about Johnny Depp's suit

Warner Bros. is "freaking out" about the links of his famous Harry Potter production with Johnny Depp, after Amber Heard's new court documents painstakingly describe how he would have allegedly beaten, choked and tormented, sources told The Post on Friday.

Depp – who denies having abused Heard – should play in "Fantastic Beasts 3", the next installment of J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter. The screenplay is over, but the filming, which was scheduled to begin this summer, has been postponed until next fall.

"Warner Bros. executives are wondering how to handle the backlash of the Depp affair on the Harry Potter franchise," said a source. "The top female executives at the studio are extremely worried about working with Depp and the message this sends to the public, especially after the recent sordid departure of CEO Kevin Tsujihara," which announced last month that He was going into the casting scandal.

"It's another blow to the morale of the studio's employees," the source said. "If Warner Bros. continues to stay with Depp, it would reveal a lot about the values ​​of society."

While the representatives of Warner Bros. did not respond to multiple requests for comments from The Post, insiders said the executives did not know how to proceed, since the author, JK Rowling strongly ruled in favor of Depp casting in a previous film of Potter in 2017, after his marriage to Heard collapsed.

"Many at Warner Bros. wish that Rowling was not so powerful behind Depp, because after making his opinion public, he stuck them in a corner," said a source.

Rowling broke her silence on the controversy surrounding Depp's cast as the villain Grindelwald when she wrote on her website in December 2017: "When Johnny Depp was chosen in the role of Grindelwald, I thought that it would not be the same. he would be wonderful in the role. However, when shooting his film in the first film, articles in the press had deeply worried me and all those who were most involved in the franchise.

"Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As already said David Yates, Potter's long-time director, we have naturally considered the possibility of a redesign. I understand why some were confused and angry at why this did not happen. "

Rowling added that while "the huge community of mutual support that has developed around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life," she found "difficult, frustrating and sometimes painful "to keep quiet about the Depp file.

Referring to the divorce agreement between Depp and Heard, she added: "However, the agreements made to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed the desire to live, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable keeping to our original cast, but also really happy that Johnny plays a major character in the movies . "

Rowling concluded: "I accept that there will be people who will not be satisfied with our choice of actor in the lead role. However, consciousness is not governable by a committee. Inside and outside the world of fiction, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing. "

"Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald" with Depp was released in November 2018 and brought in $ 653 million worldwide, making it the 10th most profitable film of this year, but the lowest in the franchise Harry Potter.

Depp's lawyer, Adam Waldman, insisted that The Post claims that Heard's allegations against Depp were "a hoax" – and that the superstar intended to prove it.

"Ms. Heard has a new problem in addition to defamation, perjury, filing and receipt of a restraining restraining order application: we are interviewing other women who have come forward and have claimed to be victims of horrific violence and other ill-treatment by Amber Heard, in addition to Johnny Depp and Tasya van Rhee, the latter of whom Ms. Heard had previously been arrested and incarcerated for assault, "Waldman said in a statement. a statement.

"We have now issued subpoenas to Amber Heard, his hoax helping his friends, Elon Musk and other witnesses to explain the avalanche of video, audio, photographic and testimonial evidence with which we have Intended to confront them. "

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