Still getting paid. Despite being dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Johnny Depp will still be paid his eight-figure salary from Warner Bros., The Hollywood Reporter revealed in a story published on Monday, November 9.
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The actor, 57, only shot one scene in the third Harry Potter prequel, which began production in September in London. However, his “pay-or-play contract” requires that he earn full payment, regardless of if the film is made, not made or if he is recast. There was reportedly no morality clause in his contract.
THR also notes that Depp was not “fired” from the film but “asked to resign.” If he had been fired, the details may have been amended.
Depp made his debut as wizard Gellert Grindelwald in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He reprised his role two years later in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and was set to return for the third film, which will be released in July 2022.
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“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise,” Warner Bros. said in a statement to Us Weekly on Friday, November 6. “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 Pirates of the Caribbean star revealed the news via Instagram, noting that he was “asked to resign by Warner Bros.” following a judge ruling that he physically assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard at least 12 times.
In Depp’s statement, he maintained his innocence.
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“The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal,” the Oscar nominee wrote. “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. Thank you for reading.”
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling defended her decision to cast Depp in 2017, despite allegations made against him. “Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies,” she wrote in a blog post at the time.
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