Johnny Depp has been asked to leave his role as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros.’ Fantastic Beasts franchise. In an Instagram post, Depp stated “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 decision by the studio was likely a result of Depp’s lost libel case against the tabloid “The Sun,” who alleged Depp was a “wife beater” in a 2018 article. Warner Bros. and Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts creator J.K. Rowling initially stood by Depp when abuse allegations by Depp’s’ ex-wife, Amber heard, first surfaced. The same allegations cost depp his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Depp is appealing the decision, and has stated that it was in fact Heard that was the abuser.
In his statement, Depp went on to say “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. 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,” he said. “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.”
In a statement, Warner Bros. confirmed the actor’s departure. “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.”
View this post on Instagram