US actor Johnny Depp, famed for his diverse and extensive Hollywood career, has revealed that he has parted ways with the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
His departure follows his failed libel case against UK tabloid newspaper The Sun, for its 2018 article that labelled him a “wife beater”.
Depp said in a letter posted on Instagram, on Friday, that he would depart the role of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald after the studio requested his resignation. The actor said his announcement came “in light of recent events”.
“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 said.
The film studio confirmed Depp’s departure and said the role will be recast. The third Fantastic Beasts film is currently in production.
“We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” the studio said in a statement.
Depp added that he would appeal the verdict earlier this week by a British judge. After hearing testimony from Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard in the high-profile case, Justice Andrew Nicol said that the allegations against Depp were “substantially true”.
The actor had sued News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun, and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article accusing him of assaulting Heard.
“The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal,” Depp said on Friday, “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.”
British author JK Rowling’s prequel franchise Fantastic Beasts is a spin off from her more famous work in Harry Potter. The former has grossed nearly $1.5bn between 2016′s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and 2018′s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. On Friday, Warner Bros. postponed the release of the third Fantastic Beasts film from November next year to the summer of 2022.