Warner Bros. have risked the wrath of the internet by dropping Johnny Depp from the Fantastic Beasts franchise after the actor came out on the losing side of his libel suit against a British tabloid that ran a headline calling him a wife beater. This was another major blow for the 57 year-old’s career, and he faces a real struggle now to come anywhere close to reclaiming his status as one of the industry’s most coveted stars.
Fans are firmly on his side, and petitions have been launched demanding his reinstatement, but the studio has already confirmed that the role of Grindelwald is set to be recast. Shooting on Fantastic Beasts 3 is well underway, too, meaning that they’ll need to find a replacement in the very near future, but anyone willing to step into Depp’s shoes as the villainous wizard will be more than aware that they’ll come in for a barrage of criticism from his supporters.
Of course, the former Pirates of the Caribbean star’s issues with Warner Bros. could have even further ramifications than what we just mentioned above, as we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us a Green Lantern show is coming to HBO Max and Ben Affleck is returning as Batman in The Flash, both of which were correct – that WB are no longer interested in having Depp play one of the multiple versions of the Joker that they’re planning to introduce in various projects.
According to our intel, the studio are looking for a handful of actors to portray the Clown Prince of Crime in everything from Matt Reeves’ The Batman trilogy to a Batman Beyond film and, of course, potential sequels to Todd Phillips’ Joker. But despite having been one of the names at the higher end of the wish list for a while, now that he’s been dropped from Fantastic Beasts, Depp is no longer under consideration for the role and talks have been put on hold.