Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has already dealt with having to fire one of its main actors because of the latter’s off-camera behavior and negative PR over the last year. Now, it looks like they are faced with another character being removed from the production and this one is over a much more serious set of circumstances. Apparently, Deadline is reporting that Kevin Guthrie, who appeared in the first two films, was recently sentenced and jailed for sexual assault in Ireland. Details of the case are troubling and the actor has been removed from the upcoming production.
Guthrie played Abernathy in the first two installments of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them but that won’t be the case moving forward. The allegations and subsequent sentencing are disturbing with a woman claiming the actor sexually assaulted her back in 2017. The incident in question involved the woman coming to the home of another actor, Scott Reid, whom Guthrie was visiting. Upon arrival she was very sick and Reid went to call emergency services. It was then that the woman claimed Guthrie assaulted her.
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor denied the charges during the court case, pleading innocent. But there was material evidence presented that turned the verdict to guilty in the case. Guthrie was sentenced to three years in prison for the crimes. He will also have to register as a sex offender in the country. It’s unclear if there are plans to appeal the charge.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 is currently in post-production having wrapped filming in February. It faced a number of different starts and stops along the way. Pandemic-related closings and Covid-19 regulations pushed it off its original timeline with filming apparently supposed to have started all the way back in March of 2020. According to multiple sources, Kevin Guthrie was listed as reprising his Abernathy role in the film, though according to the Deadline reporting, this wasn’t going to be the case and he hadn’t taken part in the filming. The timing would have made sense in this case considering it was known that he was facing trial within the filming timeline.
And of course Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as a franchise has already had to move off of another actor in a major role. That’s because Johnny Depp faced an ouster in his role as Gellert Grindelwald from the first two movies. This came in the wake of his highly-publicized trial over the summer when he sued the British tabloid, The Sun for libel. He lost the case and during the proceedings a number of different incidents involving he and ex-wife Amber Heard came to light. This led to the studio asking Depp to leave the production, ultimately replacing him with Mads Mikkelsen.
The current scheduling for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has the film releasing on July 15, 2022. When it does it will be without two actors who appeared in the first two movies. It’s an inauspicious run for the franchise which has faced its ups and downs along the way. Let’s hope this is the end of the rough news around the Harry Potter-themed stories.