Johnny Depp has been asked to quit the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise.
The actor, who played Gellert Grindelwald in the first two films of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spin-off franchise, released a statement confirming his departure today (November 6).
Depp lost his libel action in the London courts against The Sun on Monday (November 2), after the newspaper described the actor as a “wife-beater”, claiming physical abuse against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The actor addressed the situation on his Instagram account in a statement responding to “recent events”.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty,” he began. “I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.”
On the subject of his role in Fantastic Beasts, he wrote: “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.”
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The statement continued: “The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change any fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”
Johnny Depp first played Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016, and reprised his role in the 2018 sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Warner Bros. has confirmed Depp’s decision and said the role in the third Fantastic Beasts film would be recast.
“We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” it said in a statement.