Johnny Depp has stood up for himself amidst the tiring years-long battle against ex-wife Amber Heard and her allegations that he had physically assaulted and abused her during their marriage. In 2016, the British newspaper The Sun, which has made history in helping domestic violence victims tell their stories, broke a story regarding these accusations against Depp and called him a ‘wife-beater’. During the time of this controversy 5 years ago, Warner Brothers Production supported and stood behind Johnny Depp.
However, this changed in 2020, when Depp sued the newspaper The Sun. Warner Brothers Production asked him to leave the Wizarding World Franchise. Although, sources believe that for all intents and purposes Johnny Depp was fired. Depp signed a “pay-or-play” contract, which means that even if he does not play his role in the film as Grindelwald he would get paid. He has been offered 16 million dollars for the new film even though he will not be starring in it.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that JK Rowling was in charge of Johnny Depp’s and that it did not contain what is called a morality clause which has resulted in the payment of $16 million to Depp.
Co-actors and fans have said this was a rather unusual scenario for Depp to be in because the production studio initially supported him. Co-star Jude Law, who plays young Dumbledore, has spoken out calling the scenario worse than expected because in situations like Depp’s with regard to his personal life people turn to their careers and just show up to work. Law also mentions that big decisions like these are made by the higher-ups in the production circuit and that the actors are just members of a team and have to go along with it. The role that Depp played has now been replaced by Mads Mikkelsen.
The irony of the entire film franchise in the past year and a half is that it has been caught up a lot more controversy when compared to how long the Wizarding World and its correspondent movies have existed.
J.K Rowling came out with several transphobic statements in Mid 2020 that caused a lot of backlash from the entire LGBTQIA community and from the 3 protagonists of the Harry Potter films—Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. J. K. Rowling is what people refer to as a TERF (transgender exclusionary radical feminist), who does not believe that transgender women are the same as people who identify as cisgender women.
This caused a serious drop in views in movies and a boycott towards the Harry Potter and correspondent novels like Quidditch Through the years or Tales of Beedle the Bard. And now, the entire film franchise is being referred to as an unjust and radical way of producing films and casting people based on preference not towards talent but towards how extreme they are.
Pairing this with Johnny Depp’s firing, fans have decided to boycott the entire franchise and its upcoming films because they are enraged by the double standard that Warner Bros. Productions has decided to portray especially with their casting of Amber Heard in one of their new films.
Warner Bros is now under serious scrutiny because J.K Rowling has continued writing the script for the 3rd Fantastic Beasts film despite her views. She wrote the scripts for the first two films as well.
Depp had allegedly filmed only for a day before he was asked to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald and the extra time that was taken with the recasting of the role has pushed the release date by months on end from November 2021 to summer 2022. It is not expected to get good reviews.