A week or so ago, Warner Bros. and Johnny Depp announced that the actor would be departing his most famous current role, as Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. This is a direct result of the actor’s recent lawsuit that was filed against a UK tabloid that resulted in a lot of personal information, including possible domestic violence, being brought to light. And now, the ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff franchise is looking to move forward without the actor who was established as the series’ primary antagonist. But Depp’s former co-star Jude Law understands that this is just all part of the industry.
Speaking to ET, Law was asked about his thoughts regarding Depp leaving the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. And rather unsurprisingly, the actor stays mum on the particulars and chalks it up to those studio decisions that are above his pay grade, so to speak.
“It’s an enormous film, and there are many, many layers to it. It’s probably one of the biggest productions I’ve ever worked on,” said Law. “And in a situation like this, you defer to the studio. That’s all you can do. Because you have to turn up and play your part.”
He added, “It was unusual for me because, in fact, on this particular role, Johnny had actually only done a day’s filming, I think, on his own.”
Cleary, Law doesn’t have much say in what happens to the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. With Warner Bros. hoping to have the ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff series last for five total films, combined with the fact that the last film wasn’t very well received by fans and critics, the studio is going to do everything possible to limit the controversy surrounding the franchise. Of course, as much as Jude Law’s character is at the center of that, and Johnny Depp seemed poised to play a huge role, as well, the franchise is the real star and thus, no one is immune to getting fired.
“In a franchise like this, it’s the studio and the company that make the big decisions,” said Law. “And you have to go along with those, because we’re just a member of the team.”
As of now, it hasn’t been confirmed who will take over Depp’s role. Mads Mikkelsen is reportedly the front runner for the role. And since Colin Farrell played the character in the first film, there is already precedent for the character switching up his look from time to time. Plus, let’s all admit that Mikkelsen is probably a better choice for the character anyway.
As of now, “Fantastic Beasts 3” is set for a July 15, 2022 release date.