Actor Johnny Depp, who had a surprise role in J.K. Rowling’s ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ followed by a leading role in ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald,’ is exiting the Wizarding World franchise.
Variety is reporting that Depp was asked to resign by Warner Bros. The role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast for the third film in the Harry Potter spin-off series, according to the report.
Depp announced the news on Friday through an Instagram post. Warner Bros. confirmed the news in a statement.
“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 said in his post.
“We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson added in a separate statement.
The departure comes days after Depp lost a libel case against The Sun, which reported that Depp was a “wife beater” in regards to his public divorce from actress Amber Heard. The allegations against Depp have caused controversy around the Harry Potter fandom. Rowling and Warner Bros. showed good faith in Depp, but many fans protested the casting leading up to the second film’s release. (On the other hand, there have also been many fans who have supported and stood by Depp.)
This is the latest of many setbacks against the film series. Rowling herself has cast a shade of doubt over the entire Wizarding World franchise in recent months due to her views on sexual identity, which have been widely called transphobic among fans. The third film in the franchise was also pushed back due to the second movie’s poor reception and filming was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite Depp’s departure from ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ Warner Bros. says the third ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie is scheduled for a Summer 2022 release.