Johnny Depp has been dealt another crushing blow. After losing a legal battle against The Sun, the actor has announced that Warner Bros. has requested he resign from Fantastic Beasts 3, the upcoming next installment in the Wizarding World franchise of films.
The announcement was made via Johnny Depp’s official Instagram account. You can read his full statement right here:
There had been rumblings that Warner Bros. was trying to figure out how to minimize Johnny Depp’s presence from the film. Whether that involved shooting around his character or finding out a way to change his appearance so that the role could be recast was never made clear. Now, it seems that the decision has come down to completely remove him from the production.
Without Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald, the entire future of Fantastic Beasts 3 would seem to be in question. The film is in production now but could it shut down? Grindelwald had been positioned as this new franchise’s main antagonist. Now that the actor who plays him has been made to leave the movie, how will the series press on without its central villain?
In all honesty, Johnny Depp’s removal from Fantastic Beasts 3 might be an omen of what’s to come. The series has failed to garner the same fervor that the original Harry Potter franchise cultivated. And with author J.K. Rowling being the main creative force behind this new movie series, the heat has been turned all the way up on this production. Rowling continues to be a lightning rod for controversy surrounding trans issues. It has even led to some of the original Harry Potter leading cast members calling her out for her regressive viewpoints.
At this point, you have to wonder if Warner Bros. is engaging in the sunk cost fallacy when it comes to the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The two films have not been runaway hits and the bad press now surrounding focal figures like Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling will likely shape the narrative around Fantastic Beasts 3. Essentially, it is starting to feel like a movie that very few people actually want to see made.
Along with this, it is extremely likely that Johnny Depp will also be shut out of any future plans with his other blockbuster franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean. There have been reports that a spinoff would focus on female pirates with Margot Robbie at the helm as the star. It sounds like this new direction would completely divorce itself from the character of Captain Jack Sparrow, and these new developments seem to indicate that that decision would be the best for everyone involved.
Everyone except Johnny Depp. The high profile actor has seen his star fade and his legacy be dragged through the mud due to the awful revelations regarding his relationship with Amber Heard. whether or not he will be able to recover his public image from this is going to be something to watch. However, we think it might be a safe bet to assume that we won’t be seeing Johnny Depp in any major feature films for quite a while.