‘Fantastic Beasts 2': Is Someone Else Memorizing Johnny Depp's Lines?

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Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the first 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.' Warner Bros.

A complaint filed in the ongoing legal spat between Johnny Depp and his former business managers (obtained by The Hollywood Reporter) states Depp “spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on a sound engineer who feed him lines on set.” That means, rather than performing one of the most basic functions of his job, Depp might have someone feeding lines into an earpiece during his upcoming performance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.

Depp, who had a small part as Gellert Grindelwald at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts, will have a major part in its sequel as the Dark Wizard besieging Europe and warring with his former lover, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). But will the person actually memorizing his lines get a credit?

"Depp insisted that this sound engineer be kept on yearly retainer so that he no longer had to memorize his lines," writes attorney Michael Kump, who represents Depp’s former business managers and allegedly made a complete hash of the actor’s finances (reading about this lawsuit will quickly put anyone on Team Screw All These People).

It’s not hard to hate on Johnny Depp anymore. He’s allegedly (the kind of allegation backed by ample photographic evidence) a physical and emotional abuser. Legal fights with his business manager have outed his sybaritic lifestyle in an era of raised class consciousness, where “eat the rich” is a common and justifiable sentiment. And he dresses like someone Mystery kicked off The Pickup Artist. So there’s a kind of revealing schadenfreude in learning that Depp is so lazy he’s hired someone else to phone it in on his behalf.

Fans no longer have even the consolation of the occasional interesting role. Depp doesn’t do movies like Cry-Baby and Ed Wood anymore. Instead he’s in the fourth sequel to a pirate movie without good sequels and collaborating with Kevin Smith on some of the worst horror movies ever made. Fantastic Beasts is right in line with this squandered legacy — another complete waste of human creativity and life. Maybe Katherine Waterston and Eddie Redmayne should look into earpiece line readings too.

READ: 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' Review: Pokémon Go See A Different Movie

It must suck for Depp to get all his dirty laundry aired out in court paperwork by people who sound like parasitic hagfish themselves, but if it helps one poor viewer dodge the Fantastic Beasts series, it will all have been worthwhile.

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