Actor Johnny Depp has resigned from the Fantastic Beasts films in the wake of a British court ruling against him in a libel case, the PA newswire reported on Friday.
Depp wrote on Instagram that he had been asked to resign from the popular franchise set in the wizarding world created by Harry Potter author JK Rowling. He played the evil wizard Grindelwald in the first instalments of the franchise.
The actor had sued News Group Newspapers, publishers of tabloid The Sun, because of a 2018 story which called him a “wife beater.” A London High Court concluded in its recent ruling that Depp had assaulted his ex-wife.
Depp criticized the judgement in his Instagram post: “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.”
PA quoted a statement from Warner Bros as saying that Depp “will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. 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.”