Fantastic Beasts 3: Why Johnny Depp will still be paid full salary after being asked to resign

Actor was asked to resign from franchise after losing libel trial

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 10 November 2020 09:18 GMT
Johnny Depp loses libel case against The Sun over ‘wife beater’ article

Johnny Depp will still be paid millions for Fantastic Beasts 3, despite leaving the franchise after losing his libel trial against The Sun.

The actor will be paid at least $10m (£7.6m) even though he had only filmed one scene in the movie, which went into production in London on 20 September.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp “had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast”.

On top of this, there was no morality clause in Depp’s contract.

Last week, Depp confirmed on Instagram that he had been asked to resign from the Harry Potter spin-off series by film studio Warner Bros, and will “respect and agree to that request”.

Depp portrayed the villainous Gellert Grindelwald in the JK Rowling-scripted films.

The actor also confirmed that he plans to appeal the verdict in his libel trial, which saw him suing The Sun’s publisher News Group Newspapers and the paper’s executive editor Dan Wootton.  

Wootton had referred to Depp as a “wife beater” in a column, following allegations of domestic violence made against the actor by his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Depp denied ever being violent to Heard, but a verdict at London’s Royal Court of Justice declared that what Wootton had written was “substantially true”. Depp’s claim was therefore dismissed.

Depp’s lawyer, Jenny Afia, called the ruling “perverse” and “bewildering”.

It is currently unclear who will replace Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3, which will be released in 2022.

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