The release of the third part of the Fantastic Beasts film has been delayed until the summer of 2022 due to the forced departure of protagonist Johnny Depp. Warner Bros announced this on Friday.

Depp said earlier in the day that he had been asked by Warner Bros to resign from the Harry Potter spin-off. The film studio is now confirming that news.

The actor was asked to leave after losing a lawsuit against British tabloid The Sun earlier this week . Depp had sued the newspaper for libel after The Sun called him a “wife beater” in a 2018 article after allegations made by his ex-wife Amber Heard.

A judge ruled on Monday that it has not been proven that there was libel and that Depp would have assaulted her.

Depp’s departure has delayed production, delaying the release. It is not yet known who will succeed the actor as Grindelwald, the role Depp played in the films

Withdrawals were already delayed

The recordings of Fantastic Beasts 3 have recently started. They were supposed to start last year, but the filming was postponed due to a disappointing yield from the second part. Then the corona crisis – which halted the production of several films and series – threw a spanner in the works.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a big hit in 2016. The film grossed more than $ 800 million worldwide. The second part The Crimes of Grindelwald got stuck at 650 million dollars last year.

The Fantastic Beasts series is based on the books by Harry Potter writer JK Rowling. The films include Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston and Colin Farrell.