Johnny Depp Requests Delay In $50 Million Defamation Trial Due To New Fantastic Beasts 3 Filming Schedule

The lawsuit between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard might have to wait a bit because of Depp's involvement with the Fantastic Beasts sequel, as Depp has filed for a delay in the trial that was set to take place from January 11th to January 28th, 2021. The filming of Fantastic Beasts 3 was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic like many other projects, but things have improved in London (where the film is shooting) to the point that that production is aiming to gear back up in October. The filming is expected to end in February though, which would overlap with the trial, and after Depp's manager was informed of the production start and end dates a motion was filed to delay the trial.

Heard, who is being sued for $50 million as part of the defamation suit from Depp, has agreed to meet with Depp on September 11th to talk about the delay, and the proposed delay “would not entail any prejudice to her, much less unfair prejudice".

You can find the specifics of the motion from the court documents below.

“When the Court set the current trial date in this case, Mr. Depp understood that Warner Bros. planned to shoot ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ in London long before January 11, 2021. COVID-19 disrupted the studio’s plans, causing repeated postponements. With conditions in London having improved somewhat, Warner Bros. has now set a shooting schedule that conflicts with the trial date in this case.

Just the day before yesterday, on August 19, 2020, Glenn A. Eckerle, Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs at Warner Bros. Pictures, sent Mr. Depp's manager Edward White a letter, stating in pertinent part as follows:

The theatrical motion picture presently entitled Fantastic Beasts 3 (the picture) is being produced by Number Three Films Limited (Company) for distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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Pursuant to the Agreements between Company and LRD Productions, Inc. (Lender) f/s/o Johnny Depp (Artist) is currently scheduled to render services on the Picture in London on an exclusive basis commencing in early October, 2020 and running through and including the middle of February, 2021."

As for the delay date, the documents request that the trial be delayed until sometime between March and June of 2021.