The next installment in the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise has been given a premiere date, but one of the biggest stars of the movie is not yet officially returning to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
A source close to Johnny Depp tell The Blast he has not yet been approached by Warner Bros. to exercise the option in his contract for the third "Fantastic Beasts" flick, which has been given a release date of Nov. 12, 2021.
The date announcement was made Monday morning, with J.K. Rowling and crew gearing up to begin production in the spring of 2020.
We're told Depp, who plays infamous villain Gellert Grindelwald, has a longstanding contract throughout the five-film franchise, but his option for each picture, like the rest of the stars in the cast, is handled separately by the movie studio.
During the release of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," some people pushed for the movie to drop Depp due to his ongoing issues with Amber Heard and accusations of abuse.
We're told even though a few executives have been lobbying for Depp's firing, many of the heavy hitters, including Rowling, have been in full support of him reprising his role.
The creator of Harry Potter's universe basically said as much in a statement last year when she let fans know, "Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."
We're told it's common practice for Warner Bros. to sign up the entire "Fantastic Beasts" cast at once, and Depp expects to be informed shortly to polish up his wand and get ready for work.