Warner Brothers announced an expected release date of summer, 2022 for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them #3. The previous release date had been November 12, 2021. After losing a libel lawsuit in the UK, Depp conceded to requests from Warner Brothers to resign from the picture. The role of Gellert Grindelwald has not yet been recast. It is rumored that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Kaecilius in Dr. Strange, Galen Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Tristan in King Arthur) is in negotiations to replace Depp as Grindelwald.
Once definite information is known, SCIFI.radio will share the news.
Johnny Depp had long faced rumors that he abused his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard (Mera in Aquaman). Variety reported that Depp lost a libel case in the UK when Judge Andrew Nicol ruled “that he found the defendants had proved that what they’d printed was “substantially true,” a finding that gives significant cover for other UK journalists to characterize Depp in comparable fashion ” [i.e., as a wife-beater]. Depp has complained that the ruling is unjust and he intend to appeal it.
It was suggested Colin Farrell, who played Percival Graves Director of Magical Security for MACUSA Percival Graves in the first Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them movie, play Grindelwald. However, he is currently playing the Penguin in the Robert Pattinson film The Batman. Movieweb pointed out it would be next to impossible for Farrell to play both villains in both movies.
According to the Hindustan Times, because Johnny Depp had a pay-or-play contract, he will receive his full $10 million dollar salary, despite filming only one scene, which will likely be cut from the film. At this point Warner Brothers may be tempted to cancel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them #3 rather than throwing good money after bad. Some fans boycotted the first two movies of the planned pentology because Depp was hired in the first place. Some fans are threatening to boycott the third movie when it comes out because Depp is leaving. He was not fired. He resigned at the studio’s request. Many Harry Potter fans and former fans are ready to walk away from the franchise due to J.K. Rowling‘s controversial stance on transgender issues.
Separating the artist from the art can be a difficult and highly subjective decision. IF it is safe to return to theaters by the summer of 2022 (although Covid vaccines are looking more promising), will who plays Gellert Grindelwald make a differerence in whether or not you see the movie? If you were the casting director, whom would you choose to replace Johnny Depp?