Last week, fans were shocked to learn that Johnny Depp has been forced to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Now, it looks like Warner Bros. may have found Depp's replacement and fans have a lot of thoughts about it.

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In a lengthy statement posted on Nov. 6, Depp confirmed that he will not appear as Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 3 or any future franchise film.

“In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement,” he said. “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 news arrived just days after Depp lost a libel case against the U.K.-based tabloid The Sun over a 2018 article alleging he was a “wife beater.” In his statement, Depp confirmed that he plans to appeal the ruling.

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“Finally, I wish to say this,” he continued. “The surreal judgment 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.”


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Warner Bros. also confirmed Depp’s departure last Friday in a separate statement.

“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” the studio said. “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.”

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Now, according to Variety, Mads Mikkelsen is reportedly "in early talks" to replace Depp in the upcoming film. Warner Bros. is trying to recast the role as soon as possible so the project can stay on schedule.

Filming for Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently underway following coronavirus delays. The franchise’s star Eddie Redmayne confirmed that production had begun back in September.

The plot for Fantastic Beasts 3 is anticipated to focus on the complex relationship between Grindelwald and Jude Law’s Dumbledore. However, it's unknown how the casting changes will impact the film's overall plot. For now, Fantastic Beasts 3 is slated to be released in the summer of 2022 after its November 12, 2021 release date was delayed.

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