Despite only filming one scene for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 3, Johnny Depp will still receive his full salary of over $10 million. Depp was recently asked by Warner Bros. To resign from the role of the villainous Gellert Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off franchise, to which the actor agreed.
According to reports, Johnny Depp only filmed one scene for the movie but will receive his full, eight-figure salary due to a pay-or-play stipulation in his contract. This clause has become common practice amongst actors of Depp's level of fame and ensures that payment will be received regardless of whether a movie is made, or their role is recast.
As for whether the scene will be used in Fantastic Beasts 3, this remains unknown along with details of what the scene entails. Depending on how the studio decide to proceed with regards to replacing Depp, it is possible that the scene could be used in a transitional capacity for the actor to pass the torch to someone else. Of course, the move is sure to cost Warner Bros., as they will now be required to pay Depp his full salary, and pay his replacement, whoever that ends up being.
Depp has so far played the part of Grindelwald twice, in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Until now, the intention had always been for Depp to reprise the role in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 3, and presumably the rest of the franchise, but evidently something has changed. Depp leaving the role comes closely following his recent loss in court in the United Kingdom. The actor recently lost a libel lawsuit against British tabloid "The Sun," which had characterized him as being a "wife beater," with this court case just one part of the ongoing battle between Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard and her accusations of abuse.
"In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement," Depp said in a statement on social media. "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. 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. Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. 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."
Warner Bros. have also since out a statement of their own, in which they confirm that the role will be recast, "Johnny 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. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022."
A petition to reinstate Depp has already begun, with #JusticeForJohnnyDepp trending on social media. The studio recently announced a new release date for Fantastic Beasts 3, with the movie now set to hit theaters on July 15th, 2022. This comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.