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Johnny Depp exits 'Fantastic Beasts' franchise

Johnny Depp exits 'Fantastic Beasts' franchise
Posted at 1:30 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 13:30:31-05

NEW YORK (AP) — Johnny Depp has exited the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise following his failed libel case against The Sun tabloid newspaper for a 2018 article that labeled him a "wife-beater."

Depp said Friday in a letter posted on Instagram that he would depart the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald after the studio requested his resignation.

Depp said his announcement came "in light of recent events."

On Monday, a U.K. judge ruled that an April 2018 article in the British tabloid, which accused him of assaulting his then-wife and fellow actor Amber Heard, was not libelous.

Warner Bros. confirmed Depp's departure and said the role will be recast.

"We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date," the studio said in a statement.

The third "Fantastic Beasts" film is currently in production.