Actor Johnny Depp has exited the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise of films after being asked to resign by Warner Bros.
“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,” the actor wrote on Instagram. “I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false.”
A British court on Monday ruled against Johnny Depp in his libel lawsuit against the Sun tabloid newspaper over an August 2018 story that called the star a “wife beater” in his relationship with now ex-wife and Aquaman star Amber Heard. Justice Andrew Nicol said that News Group Newspapers and Sun executive editor Dan Wootton had proved that the tabloid’s story was “substantially true.” His ruling concluded, “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard.”
The judge found evidence of 12 episodes of domestic violence and dismissed Depp’s claim that Heard had “constructed a hoax.” He further concluded that Depp’s accusations of abusive by Heard “had a negative effect on her career as an actor and activist.”
Depp portrayed the evil wizard Grindelwald in the first two “Fantastic Beasts” films and was meant to reprise his role in the third film, which is currently in production. Per Warner Bros.’ statement, the role will be recast and will open in theaters summer 2022 after it was originally meant to open in November 2021. The film co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Ezra Miller and is directed by David Yates from a script by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling (Rowling has also been dealing with her own issues regarding her harsh statements about the Trans community.)
It’s currently unclear how much of the film has been shot and how much will need to be reshot with a new person in the role of Grindelwald. Do you think WB was justified in cutting ties with Depp? Let us know in the comments.