Johnny Depp Exits ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise

Johnny Depp
CANNES,FRANCE - 14 MAY 2011: Actor Johnny Depp attends the 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' Premiere during the 64th Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2011 in Cannes, France. (Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com)

Johnny Depp will no longer play Grindelwald in the Warner Bros. Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Depp and Warner Bros. Pictures announced on Friday, that the actor will no longer play the villainous dark wizard in the Harry Potter prequels.

“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,” Depp wrote Friday on Instagram. “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.”

Frank played dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the first two movies and the third is currently in production.

“Finally, I wish to say this,” Depp 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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A spokesperson for Warner Bros., confirmed the news saying adding the role will be recast.

“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” the studio told Yahoo Entertainment in a statement. “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.”

Johnny Depp denied actress Amber Heard abuse allegations since 2016, after claims eh was the aggressor in their relationship. The former spouses went head to head in a Los Angeles court this last summer as Johnny Depp sued News Group Newspapers (NGN), which owns the Sun, and the tabloid’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over a 2018 article which labeled him a “wifebeater”

Amber Heard was the main witness for the defense and submitted 14 instances of alleged abuse caused by Johnny Depp. High Court Judge Andrew Nicolles dismissed the lawsuit, writing in Monday’s judgement he believes the “wife beater” claim to be “substantially true”. Judge Nicol added, “I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms. Heard by Mr. Depp have been proved to the civil standard,” which means the claims are more likely than not to be accurate.

Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in the United States for defamation over her 2018 Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence. The actor intially planned on delaying the trial as he would be filming Fantastic Beasts 3. However, the trial is now expected to take place on January 11th through the 28, 2021.

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