Johnny Depp is still getting his full salary from Warner Bros even though they fired him

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Last week, Johnny Depp lost his libel case against Dan Wootton, The Sun and Amber Heard. The Sun referred to him as a “wife beater” and the judge said, definitively, that there is evidence that Johnny Depp is a wife beater. It’s probably a bitter irony for Depp, considering he settled his divorce with Amber Heard under the condition of a non-disclosure agreement, without any of the abuse on any official legal record. Then it was HIS lawsuit that got a judge to say, on the record, that he is an abuser and that Amber is not a golddigger. It’s also funny (to me) that Depp’s self-own has led to him getting fired from the only prestigious franchise he has left, the Fantastic Beasts franchise. He got fired by Warners Bros last Friday, and he was allowed to be the one to announce it, like he had some say in his firing. Now THR has some additional details about what happened at Warner Bros.

On Nov. 5, the London crew of Warner Bros.’ untitled third Fantastic Beasts film were notified by the studio of a move that came as a surprise: Johnny Depp had been pulled from the shooting schedule.

The studio’s film chief Toby Emmerich had made the decision the previous day to sever ties with the star who was reprising his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the five-film franchise. The call was prompted by a U.K. judge dismissing Depp’s defamation claims in a closely watched trial that pitted the actor against the publisher of The Sun after the British tabloid referred to Depp as a “wife-beater.” The judge’s ruling makes it a lot easier for news outlets to use similar depictions when referring to Depp’s stormy two-year marriage to actress Amber Heard, creating a PR headache for the studio.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Warners wanted to allow due process to take its course before making a decision on the embattled star’s future in the franchise. Once Judge Andrew Nicol ruled that he accepted Heard’s testimony, which was detailed and painted a picture of Depp as an abuser, Emmerich’s decision was a fait accompli, with the studio opting to recast the role less than midway through the franchise.

Still, Warner Bros. will be on the hook for Depp’s full salary, even though he only had shot one scene since production began on Sept. 20 in London. 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. Technically, Depp was not fired by Warner Bros. but asked to resign. It is unclear what recourse it would have had if the star refused.

[From THR]

That’s disgusting that the studio still has to pay this domestic abuser his full salary. I wonder if the studio considered taking him to court over that, and just decided that the path of least resistance for everyone would be to simply push him out and pay him the full salary. That was probably what they held over Depp’s head: you step away from the franchise or we’ll fire you and sue you and we’ll look like the heroes. And hell, that worked out well for Depp – he got a big check and he doesn’t have to do any work. Too bad all of that money will probably go towards his legal team and whatever shady Russian interests are financing him these days.

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17 Responses to “Johnny Depp is still getting his full salary from Warner Bros even though they fired him”

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  1. Mia4s says:

    “ As is common with stars of his level, there was no morality clause in his contract,”

    Well that’s not going to be the case in his next contract! Yikes. Star at that level or not, WB should have been more careful in the case of a “Family Franchise”. I’d bet that every star of a Marvel or Star Wars project has a morality clause.

    A court case would have been useless: no morals clause, he wasn’t convicted of a crime, and he was available to work. Warner Brothers was basically screwed.

  2. Esme says:

    He’ll burn through the money fast enough anyway. And he’ll slide into irrelevance quickly enough. In two years there will be no interest in him whatsoever. Buh-bye, Johnny, you will not be missed.

    • Chaine says:

      IDK, that’s what they said about Mel Gibson, but he is still out there acting and directing and getting Oscar nominations.

    • robin says:

      he still has many fans and friends in the industry
      he’ll probably start doing interesting small movies again instead of blockbusters

  3. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    Such a downfall. Such a loser.

  4. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    Why would they take him to court? It’s clear from the text there was no morality clause (so him being a POS is irrelevant). They were the ones severing the contract, and have to pay him accordingly.

    Bastard or not, the business law still has to be upheld.

  5. Kinsley says:

    The good way Hollywood treats this abusers is disgusting!! Just look how they also treat Brad Pitt!! I cannot wait for the day, Brad Pitt is ALSO expose like Johnny was!! 😉

  6. ClaireB says:

    WB is acting like this news was a shock to them, when anyone who was paying attention (and they should have been) was aware of Depp’s abusive and violent nature. I did not see the movie, although I was interested in it, because of Depp’s involvement. If I knew back then, WB knew before that and cast him anyway. If they were foolish enough to hire him and without a morality clause, they deserve to pay.

  7. Digital Unicorn says:

    I can imagine that it was worked into his contract or he negotiated it as part of his ‘I agree to be fired’ stunt. He needs the money as am sure his legal bills for the Sun lawsuit will eat up most of that.

    He has always been an angry abusive person – am old enough to remember him being fired from 21 Jump Street after he assaulted a director. Tim Burton resurrected his career after no one else in HW would hire him after his firing from 21 Jump Street – he was that toxic.

  8. Case says:

    Well, if it’s in the contract there’s not much they can do about it and it doesn’t seem worth going to court over. That said, ALL contracts in Hollywood should have a morality clause. Too many garbage people for there not to be!

  9. DS9 says:

    I’m actually a teensy bit happy he got his salary. Otherwise, he’d be filing to sue Amber for lost wages

  10. Porsha says:

    The world in general seems horrible, but all the abusive disgusting men seem to be getting what they deserved, maybe the world is going through a whole big clean up and what people could get away with in the past would never be able to happen again, from animal abuse destroying the environment, being toxic and hurting other people

  11. I think it was just a payoff, a check to get him to go away. A lot of people do that to get rid of a troublesome employee and it is clear that he won’t really be someone getting a lot of work. I hope producers have the common sense not to hire him.

  12. Courtney B says:

    Now the studio is free to move into the other movies without him. I think four more are planned? I think that’s the move they’re happy about.

  13. Leesa says:

    Mads Mikkelsen for Grindelwald please!!!
    As it should have been from the beginning.

  14. FF says:

    So is he being paid for the one film or the four that he would have made? Can he take them to court to get more money if there’s no morality clause?

    Is that why he was okay resigning?

  15. Ferdinand says:

    I don’t want to sound like in defending him. But that’s basically a clause that many actors have. I can’t think of the actors’ name but back in the 90s, when Batman Returns was released, the actor who played Harvey Dent had the same kind of deal, when they did Batman 3, Harvey dent was recast and the original actor was still paid and he’s not even a famous one.

    So with big stars I bet that’s basically a given. Besides, an actor’s job is not only to appear in front of the camera. By that far into production Depp spent lots of time being fitted for wardrobe, makeup tests, did tables readings, probably he had already learned his lines, etc. So he did work beyond one scene.
    Not fair but not mad either.