Johnny Depp Fantastic Beasts-min
[Photo via Warner Bros.]

Johnny Depp is no longer involved in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

On Friday, the actor revealed that Warner Bros. has asked him to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald following his recent legal case.

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In a lengthy statement posted on Nov. 6, Depp confirms 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 says. “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 comes 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 confirms that he plans to appeal the ruling.

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“Finally, I wish to say this,” he continues. “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 on Friday. According to Variety, Grindelwald will be recast for Fantastic Beasts 3.

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

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.

“It’s interesting because we’ve started shooting now,” Redmayne said. “We’re two weeks in, and again, it’s a whole new process. It’s a whole new normal. Testing frequently, masks. And I wondered, actually, whether the masks would affect creativity, in some ways. Maybe that was a bit ignorant, but I just thought, as humans, do we need interaction to spark from each other. What is really reassuring is that it is a different process, but it still feels like it’s fizzing and that everyone is working at the top of their game.”

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The plot for Fantastic Beasts 3 is anticipated to focus on the complex relationship between Grindelwald and Jude Law’s Dumbledore. As well, we’ve also learned that a possible Dumbledore spinoff starring Law may be in the works at HBO Max.

Depp first made an appearance at the end of 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Following this, he returned for a main role in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Warner Bros. initially faced scrutiny for Depp’s casting due to the domestic violence allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard.

What are your thoughts on Johnny Depp being asked to leave the Fantastic Beasts franchise? Let us know in the comments below.