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Johnny Depp lawsuit ‘freaking out’ Warner Bros. over potential harm to ‘Harry Potter’ franchise

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Johnny Depp lawsuit 'freaking out' Warner Bros. over potential harm to 'Harry Potter' franchise

Warner Bros. is “freaking out” over its hit Harry Potter movie franchise’s connection to Johnny Depp after Amber Heard‘s new court documents described in painstaking detail how he allegedly beat, choked and tormented her during their relationship, sources told The Post on Friday.

Depp — who denies abusing Heard — is slated to star in “Fantastic Beasts 3,” the next installment of J.K.Rowling‘s Harry Potter movies. The script has been completed, although filming, which was due to start this summer, has been delayed to the fall of next year.

“Executives at Warner Bros. are wondering how to deal with the backlash of the Depp matter on the Harry Potter franchise,” a source said. “High-level female execs at the studio are extremely worried about working with Depp and the message it sends to the public, especially after the recent sordid departure of CEO Kevin Tsujihara,” who last month announced he was leaving amid a casting couch scandal.

ELON MUSK SUBPOENAED IN JOHNNY DEPP LAWSUIT AGAINST AMBER HEARD

“This is yet another blow to the morale of female employees at the studio,” the source said. “If Warner Bros. continues to stick by Depp, it would reveal a lot about the values the company holds.”

While reps at Warner Bros. didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment from The Post, insiders said executives are unsure how to proceed, since author J.K. Rowling came out strongly in support of Depp’s casting in a previous Potter flick in 2017 after his marriage to Heard crumbled.

“Many at Warner Bros. wish that Rowling hadn’t come out so strongly behind Depp, because having made her opinion so public boxes them into a corner,” a source said.

Rowling broke her silence on the controversy surrounding Depp’s casting as the villain Grindelwald when she wrote on her website in December 2017, “When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.

JOHNNY DEPP SUES AMBER HEARD FOR $50 MILLION, SAYS SHE CHEATED ON HIM WITH ELON MUSK

“Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.”

Rowling added that while “the huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life,” she found it “difficult, frustrating and at times painful” to remain silent on the Depp issue.

Referring to Depp and Heard’s divorce agreement, she added, “However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”

Rowling concluded, “I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” starring Depp was released in November 2018 and grossed $653 million worldwide, making it the 10th-highest-grossing movie of that year but the lowest in the Harry Potter franchise.

Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, has insisted to The Post that Heard’s allegations against Depp are “a hoax” — and that the superstar intends to prove it.

JOHNNY DEPP DROPPED FROM ‘PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN’ FRANCHISE

“Ms. Heard has a new problem besides defamation, perjury and filing and receiving a fraudulent temporary restraining order demand with the court: We are now interviewing other women who have come forward claiming they are victims of horrific acts of violence and other abuse at the hands of Amber Heard, in addition to Johnny Depp and Tasya van Rhee, the latter of whom Ms. Heard was previously arrested and incarcerated for assaulting,” Waldman said in a statement.

“We have now issued subpoenas to Amber Heard, her hoax assisting friends, Elon Musk and other witnesses to explain the avalanche of video, audio, photographic and testimonial evidence with which we intend to confront them.”

This article originally appeared on Page Six.

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CNN’s Anderson Cooper mocks Trump for speaking in third person: He’s ‘not supposed to talk like Elmo’

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CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks Trump for speaking in third person: He's 'not supposed to talk like Elmo'

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper closed his show on Wednesday night by mocking President Trump for his “unusual tic” of speaking in the third person, comparing him to the “Sesame Street” character Elmo.

President Trump spoke to reporters earlier in the day and attacked the Mueller probe as a “witch hunt.”

“We just went through the Mueller witch hunt, where you had, really, 18 angry Democrats that hate President Trump. They hate him with a passion,” Trump said.

Cooper cried foul on numerous fronts.

“Him! He is him! Why is he doing this?” Cooper asked. “Also, grammar aside for a moment, if he says ‘witch hunt’ one more frickin’ time, Glinda is gonna float down from Oz and tell Lee Greenwood to hit the yellow brick road because Dorothy has arrived with the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow. Of course, the Scarecrow doesn’t have a brain, but even if he did, the third-person-in-chief wouldn’t be worried.”

The CNN anchor then played a clip of Trump boasting about China’s respect of “Donald Trump and for Donald Trump’s very, very large brain” during a 2018 news conference.

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“The president of the United States is not supposed to talk like Elmo… Speaking in the third person, it was a habit for President Trump long before he moved to 1600 Sesame Street,” Cooper continued.

He then invoked a 2012 tweet in which Trump congratulated himself for high ratings when he starred on “The Apprentice.”

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Chris Pratt ‘refused to audition’ for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in the beginning, casting director says

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Chris Pratt 'refused to audition' for 'Guardians of the Galaxy’ in the beginning, casting director says

Chris Pratt almost wasn’t Peter Quill aka Star-Lord.

Sarah Finn, the casting director behind 22 Marvel movies, revealed the shocking news while attending the “Avengers: Endgame” premiere in Los Angeles on Monday.

“[Director] James Gunn has been very generous about this in saying that I, to the point of annoying him, kept insisting that Chris Pratt was the guy for the part,” Finn explained to Variety before admitting that “Chris didn’t want to play the part and refused to audition.”

CHRIS PRATT AND KATHERINE SCHWARZENEGGER ATTEND THE FIRST RED CARPET TOGETHER AT ‘AVENGERS: ENDGAME’ PREMIERE

Chris Pratt, pictured here at the "Avengers: Endgame" premiere on April 22, 2019, initially "refused to audition" as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in the 2014 film "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Chris Pratt, pictured here at the “Avengers: Endgame” premiere on April 22, 2019, initially “refused to audition” as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in the 2014 film “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
(Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

“I finally got him to audition and James Gunn said he didn’t want to see him, and that was really a challenge,” she continued.

Luckily, Finn was able to bring the two together and it all worked out perfectly.

“It was honestly one of those eureka moments that we talk about in casting when it absolutely feels right and you know it’s right. James turned to me within 10 seconds and said, ‘He’s the guy,'” she recalled.

Pratt first-appeared as Quill in the 2014 film “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Of the 39-year-old actor accepting the role, Finn said that “it was great when he decided that he was interested.”

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
(Marvel Studios)

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“Now it’s legend. He’s the perfect person,” she noted. “But at the time we were embarking on a movie that had a raccoon and a talking tree, and a property that people weren’t familiar with.”

On Monday, Pratt stepped out with fiancée Katherine Schwarzenegger for the “Avengers: Endgame” premiere, marking their first red carpet appearance as a couple.

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Trump Fed pick Stephen Moore slams reporting from CNN, other media: ‘Pulling a Kavanaugh against me’

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Trump Fed pick Stephen Moore slams reporting from CNN, other media: 'Pulling a Kavanaugh against me'

President Trump’s pick for the Federal Reserve board, ex-CNN contributor Stephen Moore, blasted the reporting about him from his former employer and other outlets Wednesday, accusing them of “pulling a Kavanaugh” against him.

During an interview on WZFG radio, Moore, previously a Fox News contributor, was asked about CNN’s KFILE reporting on various columns he had written from 2000-2003 in which he apparently mocked women’s involvement in professional sports.

“I was so honored when I got the call from Donald Trump but you know, all it has been since then is one personal assault after another, a kind of character assassination that has nothing to do with economics,” Moore said. “You know, my divorce 10 years ago, or something I wrote 25 years ago. They have six full-time investigative reporters looking into me at The Washington Post and the New York Times, and CNN.”

“I kind of wear it as a badge of honor, that they’re so afraid of me, that they want all these people looking into my past because they’re worried that I’m going to prevail here,” he continued. “They have not attacked me on my economic ideas.”

LARRY KUDLOW: ECONOMY HAS BEEN ‘BOOMING’

Moore agreed with the radio host that the coverage of him this week has been “National Enquirer stuff” and went even further: “They’re pulling a Kavanaugh against me.”

That was in reference to the hostile coverage Brett Kavanaugh, then a Supreme Court nominee, received during his confirmation process last year.

CNN KFILE senior editor Andrew Kaczynski responded to Moore’s attack, saying, “I don’t even know what ‘pulling a Kavanaugh’ means.”

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“Look, when you’re a nominee or pick for a public administration, your record is going to get scrutinized. Things that you say, things that you did–those are going to be reported on,” Kaczynski said on CNN. “I know this morning he was referring to this as a smear campaign, covering comments he made about women, and covering things that he said in columns. That is not a smear campaign. That is reporting on his record. So, it’s a little odd that he finds just commenting things that he has done and said to be such a problem for him.”

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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