Johnny Depp to depart the Incredible Beasts franchise
Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in “Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald”.
Actor Johnny Depp will no longer wear the robes of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in Warner Bros. The actor announced ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films on Friday.
“I want you to know that I was asked by Warner Bros. to step down from my role as Grindelwald on ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and I respected and agreed to that request,” he wrote in a post on Instagram.
Depp’s exit comes days after the actor lost his libel case against The Sun, a British tabloid that published an article in 2018 claiming he was a “brawler”. Depp plans to appeal the judgment.
Warner Bros. said it will cast the role and the film will debut sometime in the summer of 2022.
The Fantastic Beasts franchise is a five-movie prequel series set decades before the birth of Harry Potter.
Since its debut in 2016, the franchise has been heavily criticized by fans and industry critics. Enough that Warner Bros. got Steve Kloves, who helped turn the original “Harry Potter” books into films, to help writer JK Rowling write the third film. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “The Crimes of Grindelwald” were written solely by Rowling and were not based on published books.
Unsurprisingly, Kloves was added as a writer for Fantastic Beasts 3. Critics waved “The Crimes of Grindelwald” and fans resisted several canon-changing plot points. The film got an overwhelming 37% score on rotten tomatoes.
In addition, “The Crimes of Grindelwald” had the lowest box office performance in the US and internationally of any “Harry Potter” film. Only $ 160 million was earned domestically and nearly $ 500 million in overseas markets. While the international box office helped boost the film over its $ 200 million production budget, it is a poor show compared to the rest of the franchise.
By comparison, moviegoers worldwide spent more than $ 814 million for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in 2016 and $ 1.3 billion in 2011 for the final film in the original series Harry Potter and the Hallows of death: Part 2 “issued.
“Fantastic Beasts 3” should start filming in spring 2020 and hit theaters on November 12, 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic stopped filming. Now it’s about a release in summer 2022.
The film is set in Rio de Janeiro and shows Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore. Also returning are Ezra Miller (Credence / Aurelius Dumbledore), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) and Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein).
It is unclear who Warner Bros. will take on the role of Grindelwald. It will be easy to explain the change of actor as the Harry Potter world is full of magic and potions that can change the way people look. In fact, Grindelwald was portrayed in the first film, Fantastic Beasts, by Colin Farrell, who pretended to be a member of a US-based magical organization known as the Magical Congress of the United States.
“Ultimately, I don’t think the character has gotten so productive beyond core fans that changing the casting can move the needle much on its own,” said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com. “This is less a comment on Depp or Farrell’s abilities than the fact that, contrary to the wider popularity of the Potter films, these prequel films mostly appealed to the core fan base.”
“In a way, it could be viewed as an ironic reflection of the revolving door of Dark Arts professors in the original books, or much like other franchises like James Bond, ‘Doctor Who’ and a litany of superhero films that have weathered and even weathered big casting shocks accepted, “he said.
Disclosure: Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC, owns Rotten Tomatoes. NBCUniversal licenses the rights to “Harry Potter” in its theme parks.