Johnny Depp has resigned — following Warner Bros’ urging — from his role as Grindenwald in the Fantastic Beasts series, the actor announced Friday, days after he lost his libel lawsuit against a U.K. publisher that accused him of domestic violence.
“I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindenwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request,” Depp wrote in a statement posted on Instagram.
Warner Bros. added in a separate statement (via The Hollywood Reporter): “Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”
Depp also thanked his fans for their support in recent days, and promised to appeal the U.K. ruling in his legal battle against The Sun, which called Depp a “wife-beater”; following testimony — including that of Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard — the court found the domestic violence claim to be “substantially true.”
“I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days,” Depp wrote. “Finally, I wish to say this. 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. 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.”