Johnny Depp's salary for Fantastic Beasts 3 is reportedly much higher than initially assumed, with the embattled actor making up to $16 million.
Johnny Depp's salary for Fantastic Beasts 3 is reportedly much higher than initially assumed, with the embattled actor making up to $16 million. Once counted among the biggest stars in Hollywood, Depp has seen his celebrity sink over the years, particularly following allegations of domestic abuse from his ex-wife Amber Heard. Depp joined the Harry Potter prequel franchise in 2016, giving a quick cameo in the first film as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. There was backlash to his casting, and it only grew when the second film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, was released in 2018.
Depp was poised to play a major role in the franchise going forward, as Fantastic Beasts is gearing up towards the tumultuous wizarding war against Grindelwald and his followers. However, following Depp's loss in a libel case against The Sun, a publication that called him a "wife-beater" years ago, Warner Bros. asked Depp to step down from Fantastic Beasts. Depp acquiesced, and the part of Grindelwald has since been recast with Mads Mikkelsen. Upon Depp's departure, it was confirmed he would still receive his full paycheck per the pay-or-play part of his contract, and now it's clear that the sum is higher than was first believed.
In a new report from THR, it's said Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling approved of Depp's initial Fantastic Beasts 3 return. Warner Bros. gave Depp the pay-or-play contract, which states a performer must be paid regardless of whether or not they actually appear in the film. As a result, Warner Bros. had to pay Depp his full salary, which reportedly amounts to $16 million. It was reiterated that the actor only filmed one scene before his firing.
It was previously believed Depp earned something closer to $10 million for Fantastic Beasts 3, but now it's clear his third outing as Grindelwald fetched him a higher number. While $16 million is nothing to turn one's nose up at, it's worth mentioning this is still a much smaller amount than what Depp was earning previously. Elsewhere in the report, it's said Depp could once earn $20 million upfront on major studio productions, and that with Disney's Alice in Wonderland, he scored a total of $55 million with profit participation, or a percentage of the film's profits.
All of this is to show that Depp's profitability has sunk drastically in recent years, and that Warner Bros. still had to shell out a decent amount of money for him. The Crimes of Grindelwald made much less than the previous Fantastic Beasts installment and the rest of the Harry Potter movies, and the current outlook for Fantastic Beasts 3 isn't great. In paying Depp $16 million, it's very clear Warner Bros. is spending a hefty total on Fantastic Beasts 3, one that could prove disastrous if it doesn't come through at the box office. It's too soon to truly predict how the movie will fare, but it's probably safe to say Fantastic Beasts 3 has something of an uphill battle ahead.