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Johnny Depp quits ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise at studio request

The “Fantastic Beasts” films will have to find a new Gellert Grindelwald.

“I want to let you know that Warner Bros asked me to step down from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and that I respected and accepted that request,” Mr. Depp wrote on Instagram on Friday.

A studio spokesperson behind the popular spinoff movies, based on JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, confirmed on Friday that Mr. Depp will be leaving the franchise. Mr. Depp played the role of the Dark Wizard who was the main antagonist of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, whose events occurred before the Harry Potter films. She said her role will be recast before the third film, which is now slated for release in summer 2022.

Mr Depp’s exit comes days after he lost a libel case against the publisher of The Sun, a UK tabloid that ran a 2018 article calling him a ‘wife drummer’, and the editor of The Sun. journal, Dan Wootton. The story had also claimed that there was “overwhelming evidence” that Mr Depp assaulted actress Amber Heard on several occasions while they were married.

“I accept that Mr Depp made him fear for his life,” a British judge wrote in a statement dismissing the case on Monday. He said the document showed that the claims it published were “substantially true”.

Women’s rights groups in Britain have welcomed the decision. Lisa King, spokesperson for Refuge, a UK charity for domestic violence survivors, said in a statement Monday that the decision sends the message that “every domestic violence survivor should be heard and heard.

Mr. Depp’s legal team had argued during the hearings that Ms. Heard was the aggressor.

In his Instagram post, Mr Depp wrote that he planned to appeal the decision and thanked fans for their support, adding that he had been “moved and moved by your many messages of love and love. worry, especially in recent 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.”