Warner Bros. chiefs cut ties with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star for their "Harry Potter" spin-off movies after a judge rules against him in his libel case against bosses at The Sun newspaper. The star was labelled a "wife beater" in a 2018 article related to claims made by his ex-spouse, Amber Heard.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, studio officials must pay the 57-year-old his full salary for the film, for which he shot one scene as Gellert Grindelwald since production kicked off in September (20).
Depp had a special provision in his contract, called pay-to-play, meaning that he would get his full salary no matter what happened to the movie, meaning he'll take home at least $10 million (£7.6 million) for the film - despite not appearing in the flick.
Depp took to Instagram on Friday to announce he was stepping down, writing, "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."
He added of his legal judgement, "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."
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. officials have confirmed plans to recast Depp's role as the dark wizard, which he portrayed in 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and its 2018 sequel "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald". The movie has been pushed to summer, 2022.