Johnny Depp Has Just Been Forced Out of the "Harry Potter" Franchise

Depp announced on Instagram that Warner Bros. has asked him to leave the "Fantastic Beasts" behind.

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The dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald has yet to be defeated in the Harry Potter film franchise, but he's going to look different when the next movie hits theaters in 2022. In a Nov. 6 Instagram post, actor Johnny Depp announced that Warner Bros. asked him to exit the Fantastic Beasts film series, and that he would not be appearing in the next film.

"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," Depp wrote in a statement shared on Instagram.

Fans of Depp and of Harry Potter may be surprised by the seemingly sudden news, but this is the culmination of a drawn-out controversy. Read on for a look at how we got to this point, and for more notable recastings, check out these Actors Who Were Replaced Like It Was No Big Deal.

Read the original article on Best Life.

Depp first appeared as Grindelwald in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

johnny depp in fantastic beasts and where to find them
Warner Bros.

In the first Fantastic Beasts film, the wizard Percival Graves, played by Colin Farrell, was revealed to be the dark wizard Grindelwald at the end of movie. This allowed for a cameo by Depp, who then played the character in a leading role in the sequel, 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. And if you're a fan of the series, These Harry Potter Trivia Questions Will Test Your Wizard Knowledge.

Controversy arose surrounding Depp's role in the films following abuse allegations.

johnny depp on the red carpet
PV Brothers / Shutterstock

Many Harry Potter fans spoke out against Depp portraying Grindelwald due to allegations of domestic abuse that surfaced during his divorce from actor Amber Heard. At the time, series director David YatesHarry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, and Warner Bros. came to Depp's defense, and said they would not be recasting the role.

"For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful," Rowling wrote in a Dec. 2017 blog post. "However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people [Depp and Heard], both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies." And for more stars who have faced controversy, these Celebrities Were Fired After Being Accused of Racism.

In 2018, Depp said that he had been falsely accused, and that he was suing The Sun for defamation.

johnny depp on the red carpet
Cubankite / Shutterstock

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in an Oct. 2018 interview, Depp broke his silence on the backlash to his role in the Fantastic Beasts films. "I felt bad for J.K. having to field all these various feelings from people out there. I felt bad that she had to take that," he said. "But ultimately, there is real controversy. The fact remains I was falsely accused."

Depp went on to say, "I'm suing The Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations. J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that's why she has publicly supported me. She doesn't take things lightly. She would not stand up if she didn't know the truth. So that's really it."

Depp lost his libel case against The Sun on Nov. 2.

johnny depp leaving the courtroom
PV Brothers / Shutterstock

The actor had sued The Sun's publisher News Group Newspapers, along with executive editor Dan Wootton over an April 2018 article with the headline "Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be 'genuinely happy' casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?" After a 16-day trial, Depp lost the libel case when a judge determined that what The Sun had published was "substantially true."

Heard testified for the defense during the trial, alleging 14 instances of abuse during her relationship with Depp. The judge determined there was enough evidence to support Heard's claims for 12 of the instances. Depp's attorney has said they will appeal the ruling, which she called "perverse." And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Now, Warner Bros. has decided to part ways with Depp.

johnny depp in the crimes of grindelwald
Warner Bros.

Just days after losing the libel case, Depp has announced his departure from the Fantastic Beasts series at Warner Bros.' request. "Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise," the studio said in a statement to Variety. "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."

In his own statement, Depp did not contest Warner Bros.' decision to replace him in the next Fantastic Beasts movie, but he did say, "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." And for notable recastings that you didn't even know happened, check out these Iconic Movie Roles That Almost Went to Someone Else.

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