AceShowbiz - Johnny Depp's return for "Fantastic Beasts 3" is not guaranteed yet. Following his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, the Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actor reportedly has not signed up to reprise his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the third movie.
According to The Blast, Depp has a longstanding contract throughout the five-film franchise, but his option for each installment is handled separately by Warner Bros. The studio, however, has not approached the 55-year-old for his return in the upcoming sequel.
The site reports that "it's common practice for Warner Bros. to sign up the entire 'Fantastic Beasts' cast at once, and Depp expects to be informed shortly to polish up his wand and get ready for work." This means Eddie Redmayne as the lead actor in the movie has not got his option picked up by the studio either despite his crucial role.
Previously, there was concern about Depp's casting as the "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" villain due to Heard's accusations of domestic violence against the actor. While several of the studio's executives demanded his firing, "many of the heavy hitters, including [J.K.] Rowling," were defending the actor.
Rowling said in a statement about the casting of the "21 Jump Street" actor in "The Crimes of Grindelwald" last year, "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."
David Yates is on board as director for "Fantastic Beasts 3", while Rowling is writing the script. The movie's release date was recently pushed back from its initial 2020 release date to November 12, 2021. Filming, which was initially scheduled to star this summer, is also delayed until late fall.
Dan Fogler, who plays No-Maj Jacob Kowalski, recently explained the delay, "The movie is going to be gigantic! The reason we were given is that the movie is bigger than the first two combined. They needed more time to prep and they didn’t want to rush anything so they pushed it back."