In Hollywood, many top stars get guaranteed “pay-or-play” contracts, meaning they receive their full salary whether the movie gets made or not — or whether they appear in the movie or not. So when Johnny Depp quit Fantastic Beasts 3 last week in a public statement on Instagram — after, he claimed, he had been “asked to resign” by Warner Bros. — it meant that he would still get paid many, many millions of dollars.

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That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, who says that Warners will “be on the hook for Depp’s full salary” which they place in the “eight-figures”:

Like many A-list stars, Depp had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast. As is common with stars of his level, there was no morality clause in his contract, even though it was amended with each new installment.

Production on Fantastic Beasts 3 had begun in London in September; since that time, THR says Depp had shot just one scene — which now won’t be used in the film as the role of the evil wizard Grindelwald will need to be recast. For that work in the one unused scene, Depp will apparently walk away than more money than many people will see in their entire lives.

Depp’s resignation from the film came after he lost a high-profile court case in the U.K., after he sued the British newspaper The Sun for libel. Depp claims he will appeal. At the very least, he has more than enough money to continue the case. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently scheduled for release on July 15, 2022.



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