Johnny Depp has taken to his instagram to announce his departure from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The actor had played the villainous Gellert Grindelwald in the first two of five eventual installments.
The post was a photo of his message, which you can read below, where he thanked his fans for being supportive during the ongoing court hearings between former spouse Amber Heard and himself. Then 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.”
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Following the statement Warner Bros. released their own writing, “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 theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”
This is a statement with a few announcements within it. The first being Depp and Warner Bros. agreed to part ways, though Warner Bros. initiated the divorce. Depp does not seem to hold a grudge with losing this job, though this his only current project in the foreseeable future.
Secondly, the third installment is filming and there must be an immediate recast of the main villain. The only other person to play Grindelwald around this time period is Colin Farrell, so a recast with the ‘original’ polyjuice Grindelwald might be a welcomed surprise. Though, Farrell is currently shooting The Batman and a plethora of other projects lined up.
Lastly, the initial release date for Fantastic Beasts 3 has now been pushed from November 2021 until summer of 2022. Something that is not particularly surprising as the COVID-19 pandemic continues world wide. All in all, this shakes up the universe that has received little love in comparison to the beloved Harry Potter franchise that ended in 2011.