Before the verdict of Johnny Depp’s libel trial against a British tabloid that called him a wife beater was announced, there were reports doing the rounds that said Warner Bros. had planned Fantastic Beasts 3 in a way that would allow them to reduce his screen time as Grindelwald if things didn’t turn out in the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s favor.
Well, as you’ve surely heard, the judge has now ruled against him, dealing a very damaging blow to Depp’s career and reputation. Of course, WB was quick to remove the actor from the Fantastic Beasts franchise completely, with Johnny confirming last week that he had stepped down from the role of Grindelwald after the studio asked him to resign.
Obviously, the news hasn’t been taken well by Depp’s massive fanbase, who firmly believe that he’s being wrongfully persecuted and treated unfairly. And while Warner Bros. is unlikely to change their mind given that they’ve already announced they’ll be recasting, they do still need to pay the actor his full salary. Meaning he’ll make at least $10 million for the one scene he shot before departing the project.
You see, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp signed a “pay-or-play contract,” which is something that high profile talent often does to guarantee them that no matter what happens with the movie, they’ll still be paid. Even if it doesn’t get made or if it’s recast.
“Like many A-list stars, Depp had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the [project] is made and even if it is recast,” writes THR. “As is common with stars of his level, there was no morality clause in his contract, even though it was amended with each new installment.”
And when it comes to Depp in particular, his salary is said to be in the “eight-figure range.” In other words, he’ll be pocketing at least $10 million for his time on Fantastic Beasts 3.
“The studio will be on the hook for the star’s full salary, even though he only had shot one scene since production began on September 20 in London,” says the outlet.
Of course, this may not come as much consolation to the actor, as it’ll no doubt be very difficult for him to secure high paying gigs in Hollywood from here on out, but at least he’ll be able to receive full compensation for Fantastic Beasts 3 and maybe one day, he’ll manage to clear up this whole mess, move on with his life and perhaps even return to his former glories.