Release date of 'Fantastic Beasts 3' pushed back after Johnny Depp's resignation

The role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is being recast

In the wake of Johnny Depp's swift exit from the fantastical franchise, Fantastic Beasts 3 has pushed back its release date.

The film, part of the Harry Potter spin-off series, was originally due to hit cinemas in November 2021, but is now scheduled to make its debut in July 2022.

The news comes just days after Depp, who plays dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, announced he would resign from the project.

The American actor, 57, stepped back after losing a libel case against British tabloid The Sun, which labelled him a "wife beater". The newspaper ran an article in 2018 that stated he had been violent towards his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, 34.

Depp was asked to remove himself from Fantastic Beasts 3 by Warner Bros after his court claim was dismissed, though the actor said he would fight the "surreal judgment" of the UK court.

The role of Grindelwald will be recast for the third Fantastic Beasts film, which is currently in production in the UK.

Colin Farrell portrayed the wizard in the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, although he played a disguised version of the character.

Fans have requested he be reinstated in the role on social media, although the Irish actor is currently filming The Batman, meaning his schedule might not align with Fantastic Beasts' production.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp filmed only one scene for Fantastic Beasts 3 before leaving the project.

The publication also reported that the actor would receive his full pay cheque for the film, despite being cut, as his contract includes a pay-or-play clause, which states the star will be paid even if the role is recast.

Eddie Redmayne is set to reprise his role as Newt Scamander in the franchise's third film, which takes place years before Ron, Hermione and Harry's time at Hogwarts. Jude Law also plays a young Albus Dumbledore in the film, which will be directed by David Yates.