In gearing up for the next chapter of her Wizarding World of Harry Potter, JK Rowling created quite a stir with a controversial casting for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The upcoming film features a human version of Nagini, Voldemort’s trusted snake in the original Harry Potter series.
While fans were excited about the Voldemort reference, the decision to cast a Korean actress did not go over well.
A new trailer for the movie revealed Nagini used to be a woman and that Rowling cast a Korean actress for the part. Fans criticized the author for switching up Nagini’s story just to make the movie more diverse.
In response Rowling revealed that she got the name from Indonesian mythology and that the country is comprised of different ethnic groups. Rowling’s comment shut down most of the criticism on social media, and it also elicited a hilarious response from Macaulay Culkin.
Hey @jk_rowling I’m with you!
Nagini can be whatever she wants to be! She’s a strong woman/snake.
Also, can you write me into the next movie? I’m Macaulay Culkin (From Home Alone: The Movie) and I was also a Pagemaster (experienced with magic)…
— Macaulay Culkin (@IncredibleCulk) September 26, 2018
Just in case Rowling was unaware, Culkin noted that he is the actor from Home Alone and Pagemaster, which means he has plenty of magical experience.
According to Cinema Blend, Claudia Kim was cast to play the part of Nagini in The Crimes of Grindelwald. Apart from the diversity angle, fans were upset that Rowling decided to cast an Asian woman for a character who would eventually become enslaved by Voldemort.
In the books, Nagini is a pet snake of Voldemort who doubles as one of his horcruxes.
Hop on twitter this morning (Japan time) and see a lot of white people angry about the asian character in the #HarryPotter #FantasticBeasts2 trailer. I showed my wife the trailer with no preface. She said Nigini looked cool and that it was a good role for the actress 1/3 pic.twitter.com/67OP3pq1Kw
— Bobcat McStorm, Space Force Captain (@much_too_tall) September 26, 2018
Until now, everyone just assumed that Nagini was a snake and nothing more, though it is unclear how she got under the thumb of He Who Must Not Be Named.
JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is scheduled to open in theaters worldwide this November.