johnny-depp

BREAKING: Johnny Depp quits Fantastic Beasts franchise at request of Warner Bros

The news comes shortly after the actor lost his libel case

Emmy Griffiths

Johnny Depp has announced that he has stepped down from his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the request of Warner Bros., shortly after losing his libel case in court. 

READ: Daniel Radcliffe responds to JK Rowling's tweets on trans women

In a statement posted to his Instagram account, he wrote: "In light of recent events, I'd would like to make the following short statement. Firstly, I'd like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. 

Loading the player...

WATCH: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer

"I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days." 

He continued: "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." 

johnny-grindelwald

Johnny played the dark wizard Grindelwald

He added that he planned to appeal the court's decision, explaining: "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." 

MORE: Celebrities with eco-friendly homes: Adele, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and more

MORE: 14 best Harry Potter advent calendars to countdown to Christmas 2020: jewellery, Lego, figures and more

Warner Bros. has yet to release a statement at this time. HELLO! has reached out for comment. 

JK Rowling previously defended Johnny's involvement in the films following the allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife, Amber Heard. 

In a statement posted back in 2017, she wrote: "Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn't happen." 

statemnet

He posted a statement regarding the news

She concluded: "Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies." 

Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.