Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has left the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise upon Warner Bros.’s studio’s request following the UK court ruling which ruled him as a ‘wife beater.’
Depp’s depart from the move leaves a vacancy for the role of Gellert Grindelwald which he was originally cast for playing. Depp’s role in the Harry Potter spinoff was a dark wizard and a leading role.
A Warner Bros. spokesperson confirmed on Friday about Depp’s depart. The Pirates of The Caribbean star himself made a formal announcement on social media.
“I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request,” Mr. Depp wrote on Instagram on the same day.
Depp was playing the role of the main antagonist in the film which deals with events that happened before the Harry Potter universe began.
Now the role of the dark wizard would be recast for the third installment of the franchise before its scheduled release in the Summer of 2022, the WB. spokesperson said.
Depp’s departure from the star cast of Fantastic Beast comes after he lost the libel against the popular British tabloid The Sun which claimed in a 2018 article that Depp is a ‘wife-beater’.
The story claimed there was ‘overwhelming evidence’ of Mr. Depp being a domestically violent man and tortured then-wife Amber Heard to a point she started to fear for life.
Judge Andrew Nicol ruled Depp in the libel case as a ‘wife-beater’ and said “the defendants have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.”
Mr. Depp, on the contrary, maintained that Heard was the abuser in their relationship.
The ruling (which can be read in full here) came after a three-week libel case in the Royal Court of Justice in London in July, where the two parties — Johnny Depp and his former wife ‘Aquaman’ star Amber Heard faced each other off after a torrid marriage.
“I have reached these conclusions having examined in detail the 14 incidents on which the defendants rely as well as the overarching considerations which the claimant submitted I should take into account,” the judge said, Variety reported.
In the Instagram post, Depp thanks his fans for being loyal and supporting as he has “been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.”
“My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false,” he wrote. “My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.”