Johnny Depp Resigns From 'Fantastic Beasts' Franchise

Amidst his ongoing legal trials with ex-wife Amber Heard, Johnny Depp has stepped down from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, according to The Independent.

The actor took to Instagram to confirm that Warner Bros. had asked him to resign from the Harry Potter spin-off series.

TW: This article contains depictions or discussions of domestic abuse and may be triggering to some readers.

Fans of the *Fantastic Beasts* franchise will remember that Depp portrayed Gellert Grindelwald in the JK Rowling-scripted films.

Johnny Depp worked alongside the franchise' all-star cast, including Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, and Ezra Miller.

In a candid Instagram post, the actor revealed his decision to leave the franchise was due to "recent events" which involve Depp's legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard.

"Firstly, I'd like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty,” the actor wrote.

"I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days."

"Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in *Fantastic Beasts* and I have respected and agreed to that request."

He then went on to discuss his plans to appeal the verdict in his libel trial, which involves the actor suing The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers, and the paper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton.

As was reported by The Independent, Wootton referred to Depp as a "wife beater" in an article, following allegations of domestic violence made against Depp by Heard.

As aforementioned, Depp lost his libel case against the British publication earlier this week.

"I accept that Mr. Depp put her in fear of her life,” a British judge wrote in a statement dismissing the case on Monday, as was reported by The New York Times.

The judge continued, saying *The Sun* had shown that the claims it published were "substantially true."

The New York Times went on to say that Depp’s legal team argued Heard was the abuser in their relationship.

Depp's post continued: "The surreal judgment of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal."

"My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false."

The 57-year-old concluded: "My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time."

Depp's post was flooded with supportive comments from friends and fans.

"The bigger the battle, the greater the victory," wrote @Damien Echols.

"Sorry you had to leave the role but glad you are still fighting the fight," agreed @bosslogic.

Warner Bros. has confirmed the actor's exit in a statement.

"We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” the studio said in a statement, according to The Star.

Depp appeared in the first two films, released in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

Many of Depp's fans have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment in the actor's firing.

Many are saying they plan on boycotting the franchise and won't watch the upcoming films.

The third *Fantastic Beasts* film is currently in production and is set to be released in the summer of 2022.

Will you still be interested in watching the movies without Johnny Depp? Let us know in the comments below.

h/t: The Independent.