Johnny Depp's departure from Warner Bros.' Fantastic Beasts franchise has been the biggest movie story in Hollywood as of late. Now, Depp's co-star Jude Law is sounding off. Law plays Albus Dumbledore, the iconic wizard fans of the Harry Potter books and films will know well, and Depp plays Gellert Grindelwald, an evil wizard and Dumbledore's former partner. The two were slated to share loads of scenes going forward, in what Warner Bros. has envisioned as a five-film franchise.
When Entertainment Tonight asked Law about the situation, he deflected a bit. He simply deferred to the movie studio's decision but noted it was an odd situation due to Depp already filming a scene for the third Fantastic Beasts movie, which does not have a title as of press time.
"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," Law said. "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. 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."
He added, "In a franchise like this, it's the studio and the company that make the big decisions," reiterated Law. "And you have to go along with those because we're just a member of the team."
Depp announced he was leaving Fantastic Beasts 3 on Nov. 6 via a social media statement. He noted that Warner Bros. had asked him to leave the role, and he "respected and agreed to that request." The shakeup occurred after Depp lost a libel lawsuit in the U.K. He was suing The Sun for publishing the claim that he was a "wife-beater," referring to the allegations levied at him from his ex-wife, Amber Heard. In the case, the judge ruled the abuse allegations "substantially true" and sided with The Sun, per CNN.
This ruling did not help clean up Depp's image in the slightest and potentially opened him up to loads more bad publicity ahead of Fantastic Beasts 3, a high-dollar film for Warner Bros. This situation is likely what led the studio to cut ties with Depp. (Although, he will reportedly still earn his full salary for the movie). As for who will play Grindelwald going forward, Mads Mikkelsen is reportedly in "early talks" to fill the role, per Deadline.