Johnny Depp has quit the role of Gellert Grindelwald from the Fantastic Beasts series. The actor recently lost a case against UK tabloid The Sun which painted Depp as a wife beater. In light of the case’s outcome, Warner Bros. asked Depp to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Harry Potter prequel series. The actor complied and posted a message on Instagram acknowledging the same.
“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”, wrote Depp. He went on to reveal, “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”.
Warner Bros. issued a statement on their part acknowledging Depp’s contributions to the series while declaring the search is on to find a replacement for the role.
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.
A direct result of these developments, Fantastic Beasts 3 release date has been delayed. Originally slated for a November 2021 release, the film will now arrive in Summer 2022.
J. K. Rowling had previously heard Depp out when he became embroiled in the controversy with Amber Heard. After a one-on-one with Depp, she had decided against his ouster. That the studio has now taken the decision suggests Rowling likely doesn’t have a say in this, or perhaps agrees with the stand taken by Warner Bros.