Warner Bros. removes Johnny Depp from Fantastic Beasts 3, delays release date

Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Johnny Depp has resigned from the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies. He was due to reprise the role in Fantastic Beasts 3, which has – following Depp's departure – been delayed by the studio Warner Bros.

In a statement, Deep said: "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." The announcement came after Depp lost a court battle against a UK newspaper.

The actor played the character in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald, both of which are prequels to the mainline Harry Potter series. 

Fantastic Beasts 3 – directed by David Yates – was filming in March earlier this year with Depp shooting the movie alongside Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Callum Turner, Katherine Waterston, and Jessica Williams. 

Following the coronavirus pandemic, filming was stopped and then recommenced in September. It's unclear whether Depp shot anything for Fantastic Beasts 3 and no replacement in the role has been announced yet. The movie was due out November 12, 2021, but has since been pushed back to an unspecified date in Summer 2022.

Fantastic Beasts 3 takes place a few years after The Crimes of Grindelwald, which ended with Depp's villain revealing the truth of Miller's character's heritage. The two characters looked set to play a major role in the movie, and no doubt we will hear about a Depp replacement soon as filming continues.

Fantastic Beasts has a release date of November 2021. While we wait, you can check out the best Netflix movies available right now.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.