Johnny Depp on Friday was forced out of the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise days after losing a libel case in Britain against a tabloid that branded him a “wife beater.” The A-list actor, writing on Instagram, said that AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros movie studio had asked him to leave his role as villain Gellert Grindelwald. “I have respected and agreed to that request,” he said.
Warner Bros said in a statement that Depp “will depart the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ franchise,” and that his role would be recast. Depp recently resumed production on the third film in the spinoff from “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. Warner Bros said on Friday its release date had been pushed back to summer 2022 from November 2021.