Johnny Depp Leaves Fantastic Beasts Franchise After Court Decision
Actor Johnny Depp released a statement on Friday explaining to fans that Warner Bros. asked him to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts films. The announcement comes just after the UK courts ruled against him in a libel case against The Sun. The UK tabloid referred to him as a “wife beater” back in 2018. Since the accusations from Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard, his role in the Potter spinoff has been a topic of debate. Both J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. defended Depp. But no longer.
Johnny Depp Makes Statement on Instagram
Depp posted to his Instagram his official, brief statement. He wrote, “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty.
“I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.
“Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request.
“Finally, I wish to say this.
“The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.
“My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”
Depp played Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016, making only a brief appearance at the end. His role expanded in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in 2018.
The Future of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts
Warner Bros. confirmed in their own statement that they will re-cast the role for the upcoming films. They planned to release the third part of the five-film franchise in November 2021. However, due to Covid concerns and now this re-casting, they have pushed it back to summer of 2022.
The studio wrote in a statement: “Johnny Depp will depart the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date.”
The first film did relatively well at the box office, but Crimes of Grindelwald was not as successful. In fact, it was the lowest-earning film of Rowling’s world. There’s no telling how fans will react to the next installment without Depp. We will all just have to wait and see.