J.K. Rowling posted a very lengthy statement to her website in defense of Johnny Depp on December 7, 2017. The actor was cast to play the role of infamous dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise. It was a part of Rowling’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter media fiefdom.
Johnny Depp had been dogged by headlines surrounding his disintegrating marriage to Amber Heard for over a year. She alleged that Depp repeatedly had verbally and physically abused her even before the #MeToo campaign exploded in the year 2017.
Many of the fans of J.K. Rowling had made clear how upset they were that, after briefly appearing in the Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, the movie of the year 2016. Despite the claims of Amber Heard, Depp was set to headline the follow-up, Fantastic Beasts: The Crime of Grindelwald.
Why Warner Bros. Dissociated Johnny Depp From Fantastic Beasts 3? Know Everything
In her statement, which was bolstered by similar statements from Warner Bros. and director David Yates, Rowling sought to assure the fans while she understood and also appreciated their concerns.
She said based on their understanding of the circumstances, she and the filmmakers are not comfortable sticking with their original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny Depp playing the role of a major character in the movies.
Depp announced on Instagram on November 6, almost three years later, that Warner Bros. had asked him to resign from playing the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the third movie of the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
The actor wrote that he has respected and agreed to that request of him leaving the project. Warner Bros. also confirmed the withdrawal of Johnny with a brief statement, thanking him for his work on the films and confirming that the role of Grindelwald will be recast.
While a source really close to the production says that Rowling signed off on the decision of Warner Bros. to date, the author has yet to many any public comment about Johnny Depp leaving the franchise.
While the third movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise has been shooting for roughly two months largely in the United Kingdom, Johnny left the project after shooting just one scene, sparing the production of any costly reshoots.
A replacement actor, however, needs to be found with dispatch.