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Last week, following his unsuccessful libel case, Johnny Depp was asked by Warner Bros to resign from the Harry Potter prequel film franchise Fantastic Beasts. The 57-year-old star has played the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the first two movies and had only shot one scene for Fantastic Beasts 3 before agreeing to the resignation. Despite news of Bond villain star Mads Mikkelsen being in talks to replace him, Depp’s fans have threatened a boycott as a new petition to reinstate him as Grindelwald in the series continues to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures.
Started on change.org, the petition’s title reads: “Warner Bros, Bring Johnny Depp back as Gellert Grindelwald!!!”
At time of writing the petition has garnered over 150,000 signatures and is fast approaching 200,000.
The petition reads: “We want him back! Warner Bros should listen to the public or we will boycott the movie!!!
While an update later said: “Hey! First of all, thank you for showing all this support to Johnny Depp!”
The update, for the petition which can be read here, added: “Also I understand that a lot of you don’t want him to go back because of the way he was treated by Warner Brothers.
“I initially made this petition for him to get the role back but now it’s to show our support in general to Johnny Depp and send a message to the world that we will get justice for him and we will not be silenced.
“And that his career is not over. So if you want to support Johnny Depp, please sign this petition.”
Despite being asked to leave Fantastic Beasts, Depp will still be paid his salary of over $10 million due to his contract.
Meanwhile, Depp fans are also supporting the star’s return as Captain Jack Sparrow to the Pirates of Caribbean movies.
The 57-year-old has led the Disney franchise across five movies to date, but now a spin-off starring Margot Robbie appears to be sailing off without him.
Nevertheless, another petition titled “We want JOHNNY DEPP back as CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW” is gaining much support.
In fact, at time of writing, the petition is nearing 300,000 signatures.
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The petition reads: “Johnny Depp has been out recently as Captain Jack Sparrow. One of the reasons is his personal issues as well.
“He has been playing this role since 2003 when we first saw him arriving at the Port Royal in his boat with that epic background music playing.
“But can you imagine someone else portraying this instead of him? Or no Jack Sparrow at all?”
The petition, which can be viewed here, went on to say that without Depp’s Sparrow the Pirates franchise is a sunken ship.”
While Depp has starred across five Pirates of the Caribbean movies, he was originally expected to play Grindelwald in the same number of Fantastic Beasts movies.
He only cameoed in the 2016 first movie in which the evil wizard had been disguised as Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves, but played a key role in 2018’s The Crimes of Grindelwald.
With the first two films set in the mid-1920s, a fifth film is expected to conclude at the end of the Second World War in 1945 when Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald, winning control of the Elder Wand.
Due to the recasting, Fantastic Beasts 3 is now set for a summer 2022 release.
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