Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are separately part of two major franchises for Warner Bros; Fantastic Beasts and Aquaman. Unfortunately, they’re also a former couple whose personal business has been spilled all over the street, and now into a courtroom. Despite the ugly details we’re now all aware of, WB appears to have no plans to fire either star.
According to Deadline, Johnny Depp has requested his $50M defamation lawsuit against ex-wife Amber Heard be delayed so he can shoot his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 beginning in October. That suggests there are no plans to replace Depp, even though I’m willing to bet his presence is a big reason why Fantastic Beasts 2 underperformed at the box office. The plan is to have it in theaters in November 2021, assuming everything goes smoothly. You’ll recall there were some script issues which led to JK Rowling being joined by Steve Kloves as co-writer. Like everything else, the outbreak of COVID-19 also put a halt to production.
As for Heard, she’s willing to discuss this delay since it won’t disrupt plans for her to return as Mera in Aquaman 2, which shoots next year. That film hits theaters on December 16th 2022.
I never thought for a second that Heard was on the way out, but Depp’s public image has been crap for years. Furthermore, he hasn’t had a hit movie without Jack Sparrow in just as long. The character he plays has already had one actor change, so what would’ve been one more? Clearly, WB feels their public spat won’t interfere with business. I think they might want to rethink that.