Johnny Depp exits the Fantastic Beasts franchise
In a statement posted on social media, Depp said he was asked by Warner Bros to leave the franchise
Johnny Depp will no longer essay the role of Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros' Fantastic Beasts franchise. This decision comes in the wake of the Pirates of the Caribbean actor losing a libel case against a UK newspaper.
Depp had earlier sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the newspaper's executive editor, Dan Wootton, at London's High Court over an April 2018 article that called him a 'wife beater', accusing him of assaulting his ex-wife Amber Heard.
In a statement posted on social media, Depp said that he was asked by Warner Bros to leave the franchise and he has agreed to the request.
"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," the actor wrote.
Depp first played Grindelwald in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and later reprised the role in the 2018 sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The third instalment was set to go on floors next year.
Meanwhile, in his statement, Depp also revealed his plans to appeal the ruling. "The surreal judgement of the court in the UK 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," the actor concluded.
Confirming Depp's departure from the franchise, Warner Bros announced that the role will be recast soon, and thanked the actor for his work in the franchise so far. "Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date."
The third film is expected to hit screens worldwide in the summer of 2022.