Fans of former Gellert Grindelwald performer Johnny Depp are expecting a bittersweet 2022. The third installment in the spin-off series of Harry Potter Fantastic beasts will be released in theaters this July after numerous delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Depp will not be returning to play the infamous dark wizard, Grindelwald. And fans, predictably, are making their feelings about the matter heard far and wide on social media.
Depp has been controversially asked to resign from the new film following his very public divorce from actress Amber Heard, during which both sides have reported abuses of each other, resulting in a build-up of negative press and multiple lawsuits. All of which led to Depp’s departure and recast of the part, with the actor of Hannibal Mads Mikkelsen who took the reins as Grindelwald.
Although much of the furore that erupted around Depp shortly after his divorce in 2017 subsided, emotions – and lawsuits – were still flying immediately before March 2020, when it was announced that Depp would be returning to play Grindelwald as intended. . Depp was still involved in a 2018 libel suit against News Group Newspapers, the editors of British tabloid The Sun. Among Depp’s already tumultuous divorce proceedings, the newspaper referred to Depp as a “wife beater.”
There BBC he would later report that the High Court of Justice held that many of the violent incidents reported by Heard were “substantially true”. In November 2020, in a double blow to Depp, the court dismissed his claims and accepted Heard’s allegations that Depp had damaged his career.
At this point, Depp had only filmed one scene as Grindelwald, as production had been halted until September due to COVID restrictions. Shortly after the court verdict, Warner Bros. asked the actor to voluntarily step away from the role. Depp made a statement through his own Instagram writing: “I would like to let you know that I have been asked to resign from Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in ‘ Fantastic beasts ‘and I have respected and accepted this request ”.
Under his contract, Depp was still being paid his salary, which according to The Hollywood Reporter it was between $ 10 and $ 16 million . Mikkelsen’s casting was announced a few weeks later. Many criticized the studio’s choice, and several casting-related hashtags, such as #JohnnyDeppisMyGrindelwald, have appeared regularly on Twitter and ever since. However, many fans don’t seem to consider that the courts’ negative conclusions about Depp’s divorce may have created negative publicity for the franchise itself. Fantastic beasts who was already receiving disappointing responses in the second installment of the series, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald .
Depp was cast as King Louis XV in an as yet untitled project by French actor and director Maïwenn.
Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets will debut in US theaters on April 15.