Johnny Depp has been forced to quit the Fantastic Beasts franchise by studio Warner Bros.
The star, who played Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter prequel series, lost his high profile libel case earlier this week against UK tabloid The Sun after it described him as a ‘wife-beater’ in a 2018 article.
On Instagram, Depp said: “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 first appeared in the franchise in 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. He was rumoured to reprise his role in the unnamed third instalment, which begun filming this September.
He added: “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.”
“The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm 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.”
In a statement, Warner Bros said: ”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.”