Warner Bros may have thought they'd thrown everyone off the Johnny Depp scent by hiding him beneath a peroxide ferret in the first image from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. But despite the distracting hair, Harry Potter fans are still clamoring for the star to be removed from the film.

Depp's casting as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald has always been controversial, with the actor having been embroiled in a highly-publicised divorce from wife Amber Heard last year in which she accused him of being "verbally and physically abusive" throughout their relationship.

The first image released of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindalwald shows Johnny Depp (far right) as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Photo / supplied
The first image released of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindalwald shows Johnny Depp (far right) as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Photo / supplied

The pair's divorce was finalised in January, with Heard dismissing a restraining order she had taken out against Depp. They also issued a joint statement describing their relationship as "intensely passionate and at times volatile," and that "there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm."

But the dispute has remained in the minds of Harry Potter fans, who have now taken to Twitter to condemn Depp's involvement in the project.

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Others have directly petitioned author JK Rowling to engineer his dismissal from the film.

Many have also referenced the forthcoming Ridley Scott thriller All the Money in the World in their Depp criticism, suggesting that if that film could completely excise disgraced actor Kevin Spacey and replace him with Christopher Plummer less than two months before its release, Fantastic Beasts could theoretically do the same with Depp.

Fantastic Beasts director David Yates has previously suggested that Depp's personal life shouldn't intrude on his casting, saying last year that "The whole principal of casting the movie was [to] go with the best actor. Go for the most inspired, interesting, right fit for that character.

"And as we approached Grindelwald we thought, 'Who's going to take this in an interesting direction?' In this business, it's a weird old business. You're brilliant one week, people are saying odd things the next, you go up and down. But no one takes away your pure talent."