Verdict In Johnny Depp’s Trial Was Reportedly What WB Needed To Drop Him

Johnny Depp

The Harry Potter franchise was a cultural phenomenon that dominated the box office, scored consistently enthusiastic reviews and spawned a massive fanbase that still hold the movies and books incredibly close to their hearts despite the eighth and final installment being released almost a decade ago. However, it would be an understatement to say that the spinoff series has failed to recapture anything close to that sort of momentum.

Turning a 128-page fictional textbook originally written to raise money for charity into five mega budget blockbusters was viewed as a hugely cynical move on Warner Bros.’ part, but things got off to a good start with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Despite a solid launch, though, sequel The Crimes of Grindelwald saw the critical and commercial reception take a severe hit, and that now looks to be the least of the franchise’s problems.

Creator and screenwriter J.K. Rowling has alienated a huge portion of her own fanbase this year after repeated accusations of transphobia, while pivotal supporting player Ezra Miller was also in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after an altercation in Iceland. Then there was the Johnny Depp saga, which culminated in the 57 year-old being forced out as Grindelwald despite his fans and the general public widely supporting him in his ongoing legal battles.

Now, a new report claims that the Pirates of the Caribbean star coming out on the losing side of his libel case against a British tabloid was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and the verdict saw the studio make their minds up that Fantastic Beasts would be better off without him.

“With so many clouds of controversy swirling around “Fantastic Beasts,” the verdict in Depp’s trial was apparently what the studio needed to finally cut the actor loose,” says Variety.

Of course, the prequel series already seems to be running out of gas, and with fans now threatening to boycott the movie entirely, Warner Bros. could well end up regretting their decision to cut Johnny loose.