Johnny Depp Asked to Leave ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise; Grindelwald to Be Recast

Warner Bros.

Johnny Depp is no longer a part of the Fantastic Beasts film series.

Warner Bros. has requested that the actor resign from the Wizarding World franchise that is set prior to the Harry Potter film series. The actor shared the news on social media, posting, “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.”

In a statement, Warner Bros. confirmed the actor’s removal and said a new actor would be cast in the role of Grindelwald.

“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise,” read the statement. “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 move by the studio to remove Depp from the franchise comes days after the actor lost a libel case against newspaper publisher News Group Newspapers and the editor of The Sun. Depp sued for a 2019 The Sun article calling Depp a wife-beater and putting forth various allegations relating to his relationship with Amber Heard. Judge Andrew Nicol dismissed Depp’s case against the publisher, ruling The Sun‘s claims “substantially true.”

Depp posted that he would be appealing the decision.

“The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change my 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.”

Depp played Grindelwald in both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald. Fantastic Beasts 3, with star Eddie Redmayne returning and director David Yates continuing at the helm following the first two films, is currently in production and has had its November 2021 release date pushed to 2022.