Depp was asked to resign from the Harry Potter spin-off series by film studio Warner Bros after he lost a high-profile libel case against The Sun. He was suing the paper after its executive editor Dan Wootton described 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.
Law, who plays Albus Dumbledore in the film series, said of Depp’s departure from Fantastic Beasts 3: “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 told Entertainment Tonight: “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.”
Depp will still be paid millions for Fantastic Beasts 3, despite having 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”.
Mads Mikklesen is rumoured to be replacing Depp in the role of Gellert Grindewald, but no official casting has been confirmed.
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