Johnny Depp has been asked to step away from playing dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald
in the “Harry Potter” spinoff series “Fantastic Beasts” it was announced on Friday.
In an Instagram post, he wrote;
“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 news was announced a few days after he lost his libel case against the publisher of Britain's The Sun newspaper. The newspaper has previously claimed Depp was an abusive husband and wife beater. In a written statement his ex-wife talked about his abusive nature and stated;
"When Johnny puts his attention on you, with all his intensity and darkness, it is unlike anything I've ever experienced,"
"Some incidents were so severe that I was afraid he was going to kill me, either intentionally or just by losing control and going too far. He explicitly threatened to kill me many times, especially later in our relationship."
Warner Bros. confirmed his departure, announcing that the role will be recast before the third instalments. The release date which was set for November 2021 will also be pushed back to summer 2022.
A spokesperson for WarnerBros said;
“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 theatres worldwide in the summer of 2022.”
Fantastic Beast is a prequel to Harry Potter, set a decade before Harry Potter and is intended to be a five-film franchise. Depp came in at the end of 2016’s“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and returned in 2018’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”
His role was controversial from the start given the domestic violence allegations which started in 2016 when heard filed for divorce from Depp and obtained a temporary restraining order. Despite fans asking for Depp to be removed, JK Rowling and Warner Bros at the time defended their decision to offer the role to Depp.
The first of the Fantastic beast series was a hit bringing in more than $800m but the second one wasn’t as successful bringing in $654m. It is no wonder, they are worried keeping Depp could harm numbers even more or maybe they have come to realise Depp’s true nature. Tell us what you think?