Johnny Depp has been dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Or as he insists, he left. Mmmmmm-kay.
The actor, who has been reeling from bad publicity courtesy of his ex Amber Heard, posted a letter on social media announcing his resignation from the Warner Bros. movie series after losing a libel case earlier this week against Britain’s The Sun newspaper. The publication had said Depp was a bully and physically/verbally abusive towards his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, and a judge found the claims true enough to not dismiss the case.
Depp wrote that Warner Bros. asked him to resign despite having completed some filming on Fantastic Beasts playing the villainous wizard Gellert Grindelwald. In a statement, Depp stated:
“In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement,” the actor wrote on his official Instagram account. “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.”
Warner Bros. also confirmed Depp’s exit, stating, “Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”
Depp previously appeared in two of the Harry Potter prequel films – 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The actor has been battling bad publicity for the past few years and this role was always up to scrutiny due to claims that Depp was violent during his 2015-17 marriage to Heard.