Johnny Depp will no longer play Gellert Grindelwald ‘s part in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them Franchise, the actor revealed today via Instagram. He says that Warner Bros. requested him to step down, and he decided to do so.
Warner Bros. announced to ComicBook.com that Depp will quit the franchise and offer a brief announcement of his own, but did not elaborate about the specifics of the split or confirm that he was requested to leave. Depp starred in the franchise’s second film, but was not the lead in the film.
He was supposed to feature in the upcoming installments, but because the films are not focused specifically on books like the Harry Potter franchise, it’s hard to tell how large a part he would play or how many films were anticipated.
Coming just days after he lost a libel lawsuit against a British tabloid that characterized him as being abusive, it’s likely that this is related to the ongoing controversy surrounding back-and-forth abuse allegations between Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp did not specifically link the two in his letter, but he did bring the trial up, pledging to appeal the ruling.
You can see his statement, made via Instagram, below.