US movie star Johnny Depp will take his full salary of more than $14.6m (US$10m) from the latest film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, despite being forced to pull out following his failed libel case against The Sun tabloid newspaper for a 2018 article that labelled him a "wife beater".
Depp said last Friday (Saturday NZT) in a letter posted on Instagram that he would depart the role of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald after the studio requested his resignation. Depp said his announcement came "in light of recent events".
Justice Andrew Nicol said on November 3 that he believed the actor had abused his ex-wife and that she frequently feared for her life.
Depp's role will be recast for the third instalment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which is currently in production and is due to be released in mid-2022.
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On Tuesday, however, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that the film studio will still have to pay Depp's full salary due to his "pay or play" contract – which is common with many A-list stars.
The actor had filmed one scene before he agreed to resign.
Doubt had been cast over Depp's future in the films since 2017, following his former partner Amber Heard's initial accusations of abuse.
According to sources who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio wanted to allow due process to take its course before making a decision.
Warner Bros said in a statement last week: "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."