Actor Johnny Depp has announced via Instagram that he has been asked to resign from the Fantastic Beasts film series.
Depp made the statement after losing a defamation case earlier in the week. The actor had sued The Sun after they described him as a “wife beater.” The judge ruled that “what they published … was substantially true.”
Warner Brothers confirmed the news and also announced that Fantastic Beasts 3 will hit theaters in Summer 2022.
Depp wrote on Instagram on Friday afternoon, “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 and agreed to that request.”
He continued, “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 [the court case].”
Depp had reportedly been filming Fantastic Beasts 3 in recent weeks. Since Grindelwald is a key part of the story, Warner Brothers will clearly have to re-cast as soon as possible.
The film is currently slated to hit theaters in November 2021, though that date may be in jeopardy due to COVID-19 impacting the production schedule. If Depp has already filmed scenes for the threequel, they’ll need to spend extra time doing reshoots.