J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World and DC Comics movies are without a doubt Warner Bros.’ two biggest revenue streams. In fact, when you crunch the numbers, you’ll see that only four of their twenty highest-grossing films ever aren’t associated with either of those respective franchises, and three of those four belong to Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.
Understandably, then, the studio doesn’t want either property to run the risk of being tarnished by controversy of any sort, but it seems that unfortunately, that’s exactly the case now. Indeed, when Fantastic Beasts 3 and Aquaman 2 arrive in 2022, they’ll both come with some serious baggage all thanks to the messy, never-ending legal battle between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Yes, as you’re surely aware of, the Hollywood stars have been going at one another for a long time now after splitting up and ending their relationship, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, either. Depp may’ve lost a recent trial against The Sun where he claimed that them calling him a wife beater was libelous, but the former couple still have a long road ahead before they can put all this behind them. And understandably, Warner Bros. is keen not to take any sides. Or at least, they were until the verdict of the aforementioned trial was released.
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According to a new report from tipster Mikey Sutton, when Depp lost his case against The Sun, it gave the studio the excuse they needed to drop him from Fantastic Beasts 3. They didn’t want to choose sides beforehand, but the verdict was exactly the thing they required to let him go.
“By losing the case, it provided Warner Bros. an excuse for booting him out of the Fantastic Beasts franchise without having to render judgment themselves,” says Sutton. “WB didn’t want to take sides.”
So, it seems that had the Pirates of the Caribbean star not lost his case, he’d still be part of the cast for the upcoming threequel. But alas, that’s not what happened and now, Johnny Depp faces a tough battle ahead if he’s to reclaim his former glories.