Johnny Depp has announced he is stepping down from his role in the Fantastic Beasts film series “in light of recent events”.
The US actor previously appeared in the title role of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald and was due to reprise his role in the follow-up film, which had been slated for release in 2021.
However, in a statement posted on Instagram, he explained that he was leaving the series, which is set in the same universe as the Harry Potter films, at the request of the production company Warner Bros.
In a statement, he wrote:
In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement. Firstly I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days. 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 that and agreed to that request. Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement of the court in the UK 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. Thank you for reading. Sincerely Johnny Depp.
In their own statement, Warner Bros announced their intention to recast the role of Grindelwald, saying:
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 theatres worldwide in the summer of 2022.
Johnny’s initial casting in the Fantastic Beasts series was met with a backlash, due to allegations of abuse that had been made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Johnny has always denied the allegations.
Earlier this week, the actor lost a High Court lawsuit against The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, over an article published in April 2018, which referred to “overwhelming evidence” that he attacked Heard during their relationship.
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