Update: Deadline is reporting that Mads Mikkelsen is in early talks to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3.
It’s been a long time coming but Johnny Depp finally confirmed last week that he will be departing the Wizarding World after playing the dark wizard Grindelwald in the first two installments of the Fantastic Beasts series. He briefly appeared in the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, before having a much more substantial role in the follow up, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, with plans to appear in more. His casting was announced back in 2016 not long after Amber Heard’s domestic abuse allegations first surfaced and even at the time many were questioning why Warner Brothers would work with him given the circumstances. Last week, Depp lost his libel case against British tabloid The Sun, which had labelled him a “wife beater”, and that seems to have pushed the studio to finally distance themselves from the actor. Depp released the following statement via Instagram:
The Harry Potter franchise in general is not in a great place right now with many fans continuing to be outraged by J.K. Rowling’s transphobic comments on social media. Unfortunately for Warner Brothers, they do not have the ability to cut her out of her own property. The studio has also announced that Fantastic Beasts 3 has also been delayed until 2022. Considering the controversy and the disappointing reviews of the last movie, not to mention diminishing box office returns, some might question if the series will even make it to the planned five films. Do you think Warner Brothers can turn this around and are you still looking forward to Fantastic Beasts 3?