Despite being asked to resign from his role in the franchise, Johnny Depp’s Fantastic Beasts salary will still be paid out to the actor. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed plans by Warner Bros. on Monday, November 9, to pay Depp his eight-figure salary due to a contractual agreement.
Depp signed a “pay-or-play contract,” which requires that he receive a full salary—regardless of whether or not Fantastic Beasts 3 is made or his role gets recast. The 57-year-old actor reportedly filmed only one scene for the Harry Potter prequel before being asked to resign from his role by Warner Bros. on November 6, following a losing verdict in a libel lawsuit against U.K. newspaper The Sun for a 2018 article that described him as a “wife-beater” during his marriage to now-ex Amber Heard.
The Pirates of the Caribbean alum played the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise since 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He later reprised his role in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and was set to star again in the franchise’s forthcoming third installment, arriving in July 2022. THR confirms Warner Bros. plans to recast Depp’s role in the film, and clarified that the media conglomerate did not officially “fire” Depp. Rather, they asked the actor to resign, which he revealed he agreed to in a lengthy message shared to Instagram on November 6.
“In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement,” Depp began his message to fans. “Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days,” he wrote, before announcing his resignation from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
He confirmed, “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.”
Depp also addressed the judge’s ruling in the U.K., which found newspaper the Sun’s statement that the actor was a “wife-beater” to be “substantially true.”
“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.”