Earlier this month, it was announced that Johnny Depp was asked by Warner Bros. to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the third Fantastic Beasts movie with Mads Mikkelsen set to take on the role for future instalments. Now, one star of the Fantastic Beasts franchise has broken his silence on the recasting situation.
In a recent post in the comments section of a fan page (via CinemaBlend), Dan Fogler, who plays Jacob Kowalski in the spinoff series, has offered his thoughts on the studio parting ways with Depp as filming begins on the third film.
“What’s best for Johnny and what’s best for the film may not be equal. The right decision may not be what’s fair. It’s not simple. I love Johnny and want him to be the best he can be. I selfishly want him at his best if I ever get to work with him again,” Fogler said. It’s not my decision. If it was I’d bend over backwards to shoot around him and HOPE production doesn’t come to a screeching halt amidst lockdown rules which are already precarious and pray that we get a decent performance amidst all the stress. That’s a huge gamble some are not willing to take with so much on the line, guilty or innocent- and add on no guarantees and the film needs to be a hit… there’s too many moving parts. Any decision will garner losses… damned if you do…it’s messy.”
Fogler continued to comment on Depp being asked to leave the Fantastic Beasts franchise following the public situation between the actor and Amber Heard as well as the failed defamation case against a UK tabloid.
“I’m by no means an expert in this case obviously but I felt a need to say something since fans were needing some explanation. I felt silence was even worse. I’m human. Do I wish WB had handled this better and informed the cast and gave us proper talking points when asked…? Yup. It’s a big reason why we’re here chatting. And When I say ‘Johnny is a magnificent comet with a messy debris field’ it’s my observation of exactly what I’ve witnessed over the years. I’d say the same about Jack Nicholson or any of the awesome bad boys of entertainment that we love so much, it’s why we love them. It’s Rock& roll,” Fogler added.
He continued, “I can’t speak for WB & why they finally decided to let him go. I can only assume all the darkness & chaos swirling around this case finally became a possible liability in their minds & perhaps they felt the stress had taken a toll physically and mentally on JD. Shit it’s hard for me to concentrate on my own work while trying to deal with this issue with you all, I can only imagine how tough it is for Johnny right now.”
As mentioned above, Warner Bros asked Johnny Depp earlier this month to walk away from The Wizarding World just days after the actor lost a heated legal battle against the British tabloid, The Sun. Although Depp only shot one day on the project, he will still receive his full eight-figure salary, believed to be around $10 million.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is being directed by David Yates from a screenplay by franchise creator J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves. Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, and Jessica Williams are all set to return to the cast as Newt Scamander, Albus Dumbledore, Credence/Aurelius Dumbledore, Queenie Goldstein, Jacob Kowalski, Tina Goldstein, and Professor Eulalie Hicks respectively. The film is currently scheduled to debut on July 15th 2022.