Shortly after Warner Bros. confirmed in early November that Johnny Depp would be exiting his role as Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, news broke the actor would still be getting paid his full eight-figure salary. THR reported that Depp had “a pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast.” Now an in-depth THR exposé on Depp reveals the actor’s salary for “Fantastic Beasts 3” comes in at a reported $16 million.
Depp only shot one scene as Grindelwald before exiting “Fantastic Beasts 3,” where he will be replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. Warner Bros. requested Depp leave the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise after the actor lost his highly publicized U.K. libel trial. The judge in the case ruled in favor of U.K. publication The Sun, which referred to Depp as a “wife beater” in a story about his marriage to ex-wife Amber Heard.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes: “Warners — then headed up by CEO Kevin Tsujihara — brought Depp back for a third [“Fantastic Beasts”] outing in a move approved by creator J.K. Rowling and gave him a pay-or-play contract that did not contain a morality clause. As a result, the studio was stuck paying his entire $16 million payday for the film even after firing him in the wake of the U.K. verdict.”
The THR exposé also reveals Depp’s destructive set behavior over the years, most shockingly an incident on the set of Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” in Australia where the actor “swallowed eight ecstasy pills at once and embarked on a campaign of terror aimed at Heard.” Depp’s behavior culminated in the tip of his finger being sliced off, “which resulted in his being flown back to Los Angeles for surgery. Pirates was forced to shut down production for two weeks, costing the studio some $350,000 a day. Depp claimed that Heard threw a bottle of alcohol at him, injuring his finger.”
“Pirates of the Caribbean” producer Jerry Bruckheimer tried to suggest at the time that Depp’s finger injury was because “he got it caught in a car door.” According to THR, Bruckheimer “was hoping to at least bring the Captain Jack Sparrow character back briefly in the next outing,” which is now in development and set to star Margot Robbie, but Disney “balked” at the idea.
Head over to The Hollywood Reporter’s website to read the Depp exposé in its entirety.