Jude Law Says Johnny Depp’s Departure From The Fantastic Beasts Franchise Was ‘Unusual’

Law, who plays a young Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter spin-off, starred alongside Depp as the villainous Gellert Grindelwald in 2018’s most recent entry.

However, the latter Oscar-nominee recently left the production after being asked to resign following his loss in a libel case against The Sun.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Law commented on Depp leaving the role, which will be recast for the third film. Hannibal and Casino Royale actor Mads Mikkelsen is reportedly in talks to fill the gap.

The Holiday star said, ‘It’s an enormous film, and there are many, many layers to it. It’s probably one of the biggest productions I’ve ever worked on. And in a situation like this, you defer to the studio. That’s all you can do. Because you have to turn up and play your part.’

He added, ‘It was unusual for me because, in fact, on this particular role, Johnny had actually only done a day’s filming, I think, on his own. In a franchise like this, it’s the studio and the company that make the big decisions. And you have to go along with those, because we’re just a member of the team.’

While only filming for one day, Depp will still receive his full salary for Fantastic Beasts 3 thanks to his ‘pay-or-play’ contract, entitling him to compensation even when asked to leave.

Depp confirmed his departure in a statement on Instagram, writing, ‘I wish to let you know what I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindel in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request.

As per The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. chief Toby Emmerich made the decision to oust the star after his loss against the British tabloid.

Depp had sued its publisher, News Group Newspapers, over an article describing him as a ‘wife-beater’ in connection to abuse allegations against ex-wife Amber Heard, all of which he’s denied. He’s also embroiled in a defamation case with Heard.

His statement added, ‘The surreal judgment of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.’

While Heard said she’s ‘excited’ to start filming Aquaman 2, a petition demanding that she be removed from the film has reached 1.3 million signatures at the time of writing.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is set for release on July 15, 2022.

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