A lot of fans were disappointed when it was said that Depp had lost his libel case, and now WB has asked him to resign from the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Though the internet is crying #JusticeForJohnnyDepp, there is a little silver lining in all this mess.
THR reports that though Depp had only shot one scene for Fantastic Beasts 3, he is still getting paid his full salary from WB. THR writes:
Warner Bros. will be on the hook for Depp’s full salary, even though he only had shot one scene since production began on September 20 in London. Like many A-list stars, Depp had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast. As is common with stars of his level, there was no morality clause in his contract, even though it was amended with each new installment. Technically, Depp was not fired by Warner Bros. but asked to resign. It is unclear what recourse it would have had if the star refused.
For now, it looks like Fantastic Beasts 3 will now recast the role. While it would be great if they managed to explain the face change canonically, I think it would be better if they just recast Grindelwald without looking too much into it—kind of how Michael Gambon took over the Dumbledore role after Richard Harris died.
If anything, fans want Depp to get re-hired for the film and are asking for Heard to be the one replaced when it comes to the Aquaman franchise. Though Depp did lose the case, a lot of people are crying foul that the evidence suggesting that Heard was the abusive partner was disregarded by the presiding judge. Depp is now going to appeal the ruling, but as it looks, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has to move forward without him.
In the meantime, Fantastic Beasts 3 has been pushed back to July 15, 2022.