Days after Johnny Depp lost his libel case over domestic abuse allegations from ex-wife Amber Heard, the actor leaves the Harry Potter Spinoff franchise “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” at the obvious request of Warner Bros.
On Friday morning, the actor who played the sinister magician Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts left the Harry Potter Spinoff franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, at the request of Warner Bros.
“In light of recent events, I would like to make the following brief statement,” Depp began his note, which he shared with Instagram. “First of all, I would like to thank all those who have given me their support and loyalty. Their messages of love and concern, especially in recent days, have humbled and moved me.
“Secondly, I would like to inform you that I have been asked by Warner Bros. to step down from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts, and I have respected and agreed to this request,” he continued.
Depp then spoke about the outcome of the libel suit. “The surreal verdict of the UK court will not change my struggle to tell the truth and I confirm that I intend to appeal.
“My determination remains strong,” the actor concluded, “and I intend to prove that the accusations made against me are false. My life and career will not be defined from this moment on”.
The Warner Bros. studio confirmed Depp’s withdrawal from the blockbuster franchise in a statement.
“Johnny Depp will exit the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny Depp for his work on the films so far,” the studio told Variety. “Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will be released worldwide in summer 2022.
Depp had a brief appearance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in late 2016. Two years later he had more time on the screen in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Variety reported on Monday that Depp lost a libel suit against News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun. In 2018 The Sun published an article in which Depp allegedly abused Heard, calling him a “wife-beater”. The headline read: “Crazy: How can J.K. Rowling in the cast of wife beater Johnny Depp be ‘really happy’ in the new film Fantastic Animals?
The actor then sued The Sun and its executive editor, Dan Wootton.
The judge ruled that “the plaintiff [Depp] was unsuccessful in his libel suit. Although he has demonstrated the necessary elements of his libel suit, the defendants have shown that what they have published in the meaning I have taken from the words is substantially true.
Depp’s attorneys determined that the actor plans to appeal the case.