Johnny Depp accepts Warner Bros' request to exit ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise

November 6, 2020

Johnny Depp announced Friday he’s accepting Warner Bros’ request that he resign from his starring role as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the film the "Fantastic Beasts.”

“Johnny Depp will depart the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” Warner Bros. said in a statement, according to Variety. “‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”

Depp, 57, confirmed in a statement to his Instagram account, that Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, asked him to resign

“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,” he wrote Friday on Instagram.

The move comes on the heels of a libel case Depp lost against the British tabloid, The Sun, and its publisher News Group Newspapers alleging in a 2018 story that he was a “wife beater.”

The Academy Award-winning actor says he will appeal the ruling.

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