Johnny Depp has only just released a statement confirming that he’s stepping away from the role of Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 after revealing that Warner Bros. had asked him to resign following the outcome of his latest court case, but the studio haven’t wasted any time in confirming that the evil wizard is still a part of the franchise, and the part will be recast.
With the third installment in the series already shooting, Grindelwald clearly has a huge role to play in the script given that he was the title character in the last movie, and the entire saga seems to be building towards an epic showdown against Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore with the fate of the Wizarding World at stake.
There had been rumors that Depp’s screen time could be reduced should the judge rule against him, but now Warner Bros. have decided that Fantastic Beasts would be better off without the actor entirely, and the hunt will soon begin for a new star. A couple of lines of exposition and a magical spell are all it will realistically take to explain why Grindelwald looks completely different this time around, and now the speculation will turn to who will play the role.
See below for the studio’s full statement on the matter:
“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”
A lot of actors might not be too keen on the idea of taking on the part seeing as Depp’s fans have continued supporting him and there’s going to be at least some backlash from them towards his replacement. However, the most obvious choice would be Colin Farrell, who many thought was playing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them before Depp’s surprise cameo. After all, he’s got previous experience with the franchise, and it makes the most sense from a storytelling perspective, too.