Johnny Depp will no longer be part of Warner Bros.’ future for the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
In a letter posted to instagram, Depp confirmed that in the wake of a recent libel case decision in the UK — which the actor lost after suing the tabloid newspaper The Sun over an article that described him as a “wife-beater” in claims that he abused his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard — Warner Bros. has asked him to leave the next entry of its Harry Potter spinoff, in spite of Depp’s decision to appeal the ruling.
“I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days,” Depp’s statement reads in part. “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.”
Depp’s part in the movies has been defended in the face of controversy before after his appearance as the titular villain in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. But it would seem that, in this particular case as far as behind the scenes in the Potterverse is concerned, Warner Bros. was unwilling to ignore events beyond the films.
Fantastic Beasts 3, co-written by J.K. Rowling, is currently filming.