Jude Law discusses Johnny Depp's exit from Fantastic Beasts 3

‘It was unusual for me’: Jude Law discusses co-star Johnny Depp’s exit from Fantastic Beasts 3 after the actor ‘stepped down’ from the franchise

  • The Hollywood star was asked to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald after his libel case against The Sun newspaper was summarily dismissed
  • Depp, 55, had originally taken legal action after the publication labelled him a ‘wife beater’ in reference to his marriage to the actress Amber Heard
  • The subsequent fallout has resulted in the actor parting ways with Warner Bros. and the third instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise
  • Depp’s co-star Law, 47, who plays Albus Dumbledore in the franchise, has said it was ‘unusual’ for him as the actor had only done one day of filming
  • Fans have since posted a petition on Change.org demanding the actor be reinstated, it has so far amassed a total of 204,716 signatures

Jude Law has discussed co-star Johnny Depp’s exit from Fantastic Beasts 3 after he was fired from the film.

The Hollywood star was asked to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in JK Rowling’s fantasy series of blockbuster films after a libel suit filed against The Sun newspaper was summarily dismissed by the High Court.

Depp, 57, had originally taken legal action after the publication labelled him a ‘wife beater’ in reference to his acrimonious and ultimately short-lived two year marriage to the actress Amber Heard.

Response: Jude Law has discussed co-star Johnny Depp’s exit from Fantastic Beasts 3 after he was fired from the film

Talking about the actor’s exit, Law, 47, who plays Albus Dumbledore in the franchise, said it was ‘unusual’ for him as Depp had only done one day of filming. 

Talking to Entertainment Tonight (ET), Law said that Fantastic Beasts 3 is an ‘enormous film’ with ‘many layers to it’.

He added: ‘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.’

Law continued: ‘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.

Stepping down: The star was asked to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in JK Rowling ‘s fantasy series of blockbuster films after a libel suit filed against The Sun newspaper was summarily dismissed by the High Court (Law, left, and Depp, right, in film still)

‘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.’ 

The fallout has resulted in the actor parting ways with Warner Bros. and the Fantastic Beasts franchise – potentially the first in a series of expected blows to his film career – prompting die-hard fans to launch the online petition in his defence.  

Depp fans in their thousands signed a petition demanding the actor be reinstated to the Fantastic Beasts franchise following his sacking. 

Action: Depp, 57, had originally taken legal action after the publication labelled him a ‘wife beater’ in reference to his acrimonious and ultimately short-lived two year marriage to the actress Amber Heard (pictured outside the Royal Courts of Justice in July)  

Posted on Change.org, the petition – abruptly titled ‘Warner Bros, Bring Johnny Depp back as Gellert Grindelwald!!!’ – has so far amassed a total of 204,716 signatures, with more coming every second. 

A preamble posted by way of introduction to the growing list of aggrieved fans reads:  ‘Johnny Depp was asked by Warner Bros to resign and leave his role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts 3 movie. 

‘This happened because of the verdict of his case with ‘The Sun’ tabloid that was completely unfair. We want him back! Warner Bros should listen to the public or we will boycott the movie!!!’ 

Controversy: The term was used in reference to his acrimonious and ultimately short-lived two year marriage to the actress Amber Heard (pictured in 2016) 

Depp confirmed his departure from the franchise in a statement to fans shortly after London’s Royal Court Of Justice deemed there was reasonable ground to claim he assaulted his former wife. 

Posting to Instagram, he wrote: ‘Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who gifted me their support and loyalty.

‘Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request. 

Petition: Posted on Change.org, the petition has so far amassed a total of 204,716 signatures, with more coming every second

Farewell: Depp confirmed his departure from the franchise in a statement to fans shortly after London’s Royal Court Of Justice deemed there was reasonable ground to claim he assaulted his former wife (pictured in film still) 

‘Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement 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 Depp will not feature in the third Fantastic Beasts instalment, it’s understood that he will still receive his full fee – reported to be within the region of $10million. 

Stepping in? It’s understood that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has now been approached with a view to taking the role (pictured in October) 

The Hollywood Reporter claims that Depp had a special provision in his contract called pay-to-play, meaning that he would get his full salary no matter what happened to the movie, or if his role went to another actor. 

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has now been approached with a view to taking the role, Deadline reports. 

Depp – who filmed one scene for the new film before initiating legal proceedings against The Sun –  also has a separate defamation lawsuit against Heard, scheduled to take place in Virginia. 

This would have required the actor to be in court for three consecutive days in November, and would have also altered the Fantastic Beasts 3 shooting schedule.

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