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Colin Farrell in Fantastic Beasts

The Harry Potter franchise has been dominating pop culture since J.K. Rowling's novels first arrived online. The Wizarding World has continued to grow through video games, theme parks, the Cursed Child plays, as well as the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Production was gearing up to start on David Yates' Fantastic Beasts 3 when it was revealed that Johnny Depp was asked by Warner Bros. to leave his role as Grindelwald. And now fans are hoping that Colin Farrell might return to the property to replace Depp.

Colin Farrell played Auror Percival Graves in the original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But the end of the movie revealed that he was actually Grindelwald in disguise the whole time, with Johnny Depp revealing himself as the true face of the villain. But now that Depp has been removed from the franchise by Warner Bros. the public is left wondering who might replace the Tim Burton collaborator. But many fans are set on the most common answer: bringing Colin Farrell back. And the Harry Potter community took to social media to respond to the news of Depp's departure, for instance:

There you have it. Colin Farrell is an accomplished actor who has had a long and successful career in film. One of his most recent hits was his role as Percival Graves in David Yates' Fantastic Beasts movie. But this was actual a dual role, as he was playing Grindelwald the entire time. We'll just have to wait and see if he gets the chance to return to the Wizarding World.

The Harry Potter franchise has featured plenty of twists across the years, and the first Fantastic Beasts definitely continued this trend when it came to the Grindelwald twist. Nobody expected Johnny Depp to appear in David Yates' spinoff, so audiences were shocked. But now that he's officially out as the villainous wizard, some fans are hoping they do an about-face and reverse this twist. As one moviegoer posted on Twitter:

Johnny Depp was removed from Fantastic Beasts 3 by Warner Bros. following the verdict on the actor's libel case with The Sun. Depp had a long court process where he sued the outlet for defamation after a story referred to him as a "wife beater." He and ex-wife Amber Heard both testified in the case, which The Sun ultimately won. And as a result he lost his gig in the Wizarding World.

But prior to this controversy, there were some Harry Potter fans who were already sad to see Colin Farrell give his role over to Johnny Depp in that first Fantastic Beasts movie. And now that Depp has been given the chop, those naysayers have taken to social media to make their feelings known. Case in point:

Well, that was honest. And while fans are hoping that Colin Farrell will reclaim his role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, the 44 year-old actor has been keeping busy. After appearing in The Gentlemen this past December, Farrell signed on to play The Penguin in Matt Reeves' The Batman. That DC blockbuster has recently resumed filming, although he's not the only Fantastic Beasts actor to have a role. After playing Leta Lestrange in The Crimes of Grindelwald, Zoe Kravitz also signed on for The Batman, playing Catwoman. Some cinephiles noticed this trend and posted on social media, saying:

They're not wrong. Matt Reeves assembled a killer cast to bring The Batman to life. That just happens to include two very notable alumni of the Fantastic Beasts franchise: Colin Farrell and Zoe Kravitz. But with production on both that DC blockbuster and Fantastic Beasts 3 currently under way, it's certainly possible that Farrell's schedule might not allow him to reprise the role of Grindelwald. And a result, another actor might end up taking on the role following Johnny Depp's departure.

Johnny Depp leaving Fantastic Beasts quickly went viral, as both the franchise and actor himself have been known to make headlines in their own way. And while some fans might be disappointed that the Pirates of the Caribbean actor will no longer be playing Grindelwald, there are also moviegoers who took umbrage with his inclusion in the first place. After all, Colin Farrell is an accomplished actor who would no doubt would have been great with full ownership over the character.

It should be interesting to see what ultimately happens with Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. The character is sure to be a significant presence in the upcoming threequel, despite which actor is playing the role. He's got a love/hate relationship with Dumbledore, and is the mastermind behind the Wizarding War that's coming together on the big screen. We'll just have to wait and see if Colin Farrell gets to return in David Yates' highly anticipated blockbuster.

Johnny Depp's departure isn't the only controversy that has surrounded Fantastic Beasts 3 in the past year. J.K. Rowling herself has made comments about the transgender community that have caused controversy. Additionally, Ezra Miller made headlines earlier for a viral video which showed him seemingly choking a fan.  Yet, Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently still set to arrive in theaters sometime in 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

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