Warner Bros. were quick to try and move forward after Johnny Depp released a statement revealing he’d been asked to resign from his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, with the studio almost immediately confirming that the part would be recast. However, that was the last thing on the internet’s mind as fans rallied behind the former Pirates of the Caribbean star.
The latest installment in the Wizarding World has already been beset by problems, and at this stage, the disappointing critical and commercial reaction to The Crimes of Grindelwald is the least of the concerns. As well as the Depp situation, there’s also J.K. Rowling’s public image taking a battering over repeated accusations of transphobia, while Ezra Miller has yet to publicly comment on the viral video that saw him choking a female fan earlier this year, presumably in the hope that the whole thing will blow over.
When it was announced that a new actor would be stepping into Depp’s shoes as Grindelwald, Colin Farrell instantly became the favorite having already played Percival Graves in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and many fans thought he would be revealed as the big bad in the first place before the Pirates of the Caribbean star showed up for a surprise cameo at the end of the movie.
However, even if he was offered the chance to return to the franchise, his commitments to The Batman have reportedly rendered it impossible. Fantastic Beasts 3 has already been shooting for weeks and Warner Bros. need a replacement in as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Matt Reeves’ reboot is still a long way away from calling it a wrap after suffering some major setbacks of its own, and Variety says that the actor is “most likely not available” at the moment “given the demands of playing the Penguin.”