To all four of the people that were still interested in the Fantastic Beasts films, today’s news will come as quite a shock. In a post on his Instagram account, actor Johnny Depp announced that Warner Bros. has asked him to resign from his role in the Harry Potter spin-off films following the loss of his libel case against publication The Sun.
“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 on Instagram. Not deterred by this decision, Depp continued, “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.”
For those out of the loop, an article written by The Sun in 2018 alleged that during his marraige to actress Amber Heard, Depp was a “wife beater” and had abused her for several years. Despite newer evidence suggesting this was all some tabloid nonsense, Depp lost his libel case earlier this week. Probably not wishing to drag all of that controversy into the next Fantastic Beasts film, Warner Bros. has decided to drop Depp from the franchise going forward.
As sad as that might be, I think the bigger issue is that anything tangentially related to Harry Potter directly funds author J.K. Rowling. Considering her disgusting transphobic comments earlier this year, I don’t think it’s a big loss that Depp is out of this series. He won’t need to be associated with Rowling and her terf rhetoric, which is a good thing.