Johnny Depp will no longer be playing Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts series of films. Warner Bros. seems to be distancing themselves from the actor’s legal situation. Depp announced his resignation via an Instagram post, which also noted that he would be appealing his recent court loss. The actor also thanked his followers for their support throughout the ongoing lawsuits surrounding his former marriage to Amber Heard.
Depp began the note by thanking his fans and “everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty,” writing that he had “been humbled and moved” the wave of encouragement in the wake of his loss against The Sun over an article that described him as a “wife beater.”
“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,” the actor wrote. “Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgment 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.”
Johnny Depp’s legal battles have been a mess of gossip and rumors, and without any clear sign of a definite legal victory, it seems like both Depp and Warner Bros. hands are tied. Of course, losing the star villain is a massive shakeup for any film, let alone one that had already kicked off production. Variety reports that Fantastic Beasts 3 is being delayed until 2022, and the movie will recast Depp’s role with another actor. Given that Colin Farrell already technically played the character once before, it wouldn’t be all the surprising to see him rejoin the series. Plus, he should be done filming The Batman before too long. However, it remains to be seen who will take up the Grindelwald mantle.