Johnny Depp will not be reprising his role as dark wizard Grindelwald in the latest installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, according to a post from the actor himself on his Instagram account:
This news does not come as much of a surprise given Depp’s media attention recently and his unsuccessful libel case against The Sun, which was decided against him earlier this week. His suit involved the tabloid’s reporting on his tumultuous relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard.
A statement from Warner Bros. confirms Depp’s exit and adds some more information about the next film: “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.”
The first installment in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was released in 2016. It earned an Oscar for Costume Design in addition to a nomination for Production Design. Its sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, was released in 2018 and did not earn as much awards attention, but still netted BAFTA nods for Production Design and Special Visual Effects.