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Johnny Depp Announces He's Been Axed From The Fantastic Beasts Franchise

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Johnny Depp Announces He's Been Axed From The Fantastic Beasts Franchise

Johnny Depp has announced he is stepping down from his role in the Fantastic Beasts film series, after he lost his libel case against The Sun newspaper.

The 57-year-old, who played Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off series, made the announcement on Instagram.

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"In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement," he wrote. "Firstly, 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."

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He continued, "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 starred as Grindelwald in the series (Credit: Warner Bros)
Depp starred as Grindelwald in the series (Credit: Warner Bros)

Depp continued that he planned to appeal the decision made by the judge in the well-publicised libel battle, in which the Hollywood star took The Sun to court after they labelled him as a "wife-beater" in an article.

"Finally, I wish to say this. 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," he said.

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"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."

Depp will appeal the ruling (Credit: PA Images)
Depp will appeal the ruling (Credit: PA Images)

Depp was accused by The Sun of being violent towards ex-wife Amber Heard during their short-lived married, which ended in 2016.

He was cast as dark wizard Grindelwald in 2016, and was initially criticised for taking part in the series amid the allegations.

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However, Harry Potter author and Fantastic Beasts producer JK Rowling originally supported Depp in the role, saying in a statement that "the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."

Depp has announced his departure from the franchise (Credit: Warner Bros)
Depp has announced his departure from the franchise (Credit: Warner Bros)

Neither Rowling nor Warner Brothers have yet commented about Depp's departure.

The as-yet untitled third film, which saw production delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus, will follow the wizarding world's input during the Second World War. Jude Law and Eddie Redmayne are expected to reprise their roles as Albus Dumbledore and Newt Scamander, respectively.

Featured Image Credit: PA Images

Kimberley Bond
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