Depp’s eight-figure salary is more than the payday for co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law.
Johnny Depp will not be appearing in the upcoming third “Fantastic Beasts” movie, but he will be receiving the full eight-figure salary he was set to earn by reprising his role of Grindelwald in the sequel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp filmed just one scene for “Fantastic Beasts 3” before exiting the project. Depp and Warner Bros. announced November 6 the actor was resigning from the franchise after losing his libel case against The Sun.
Per THR’s report: “Warner Bros. will be on the hook for Depp’s full salary, even though he only had shot one scene since production began on September 20 in London. Like many A-list stars, Depp had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast. As is common with stars of his level, there was no morality clause in his contract, even though it was amended with each new installment. Technically, Depp was not fired by Warner Bros. but asked to resign. It is unclear what recourse it would have had if the star refused.”
Depp made his “Fantastic Beasts” debut in a brief cameo appearance in the 2016 first film before playing the main antagonist in the 2018 sequel “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” THR reports that Depp was to have equal screen time to Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law in the third “Fantastic Beasts” movie. Once a U.K. judge dismissed Depp’s libel case and sided in favor of The Sun, which called Depp a “wife beater,” Warner Bros. asked the actor to resign from the sequel.
Sources told THR the studio “wanted to allow due process to take its course before making a decision on” Depp’s future with the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. Now that Depp has exited the franchise, Warner Bros. will recast the role of Grindelwald.
Warner Bros. said in its Novever 6 statement: “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.”
The studio has since announced that “Fantastic Beasts 3” will open in theaters July 15, 2022.