Warner Bros. is wasting no time in finding Johnny Depp's Fantastic Beasts 3 replacement, with multiple reports now claiming that Casino Royale and Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen is the top choice for Gellert Grindelwald. Though fans are still unhappy that Depp's role is being recast in the first place, the announcement of Mikkelsen's potential involvement does seem to have eased the pain.
Despite many still wanting Johnny Depp to be reinstated, Mikkelsen stepping in as Grindelwald is winning over a lot of Fantastic Beasts fans. Some even think that Mads Mikkelsen is overall a better choice for the character than Depp ever was, no doubt thanks to his vast experience in playing the bad guy.
Indeed, thanks to his rumored addition to Fantastic Beasts 3, many are beginning to notice a pattern in Mikkelsen's roles. A few fans are fact so enamored with Mikkelsen that they have begun to wonder whether all of Depp's roles should go to him in future.
Of course, with the situation backstage being so volatile, not everyone is happy with Mikkelsen replacing Depp, with some hoping that the reports turn out to be false. Mikkelsen is arguably pitch perfect casting for the role of Grindelwald, and while the majority are happy with the choice, generally speaking, there are those who do not think that Depp should be replaced full stop.
Not all things are about Harry Potter though, with many tricked into thinking that Mikkelsen's name trending meant a fourth season of the popular series Hannibal had been announced.
Fans of the Fantastic Beasts franchise were shocked to hear that Johnny Depp had been asked by Warner Bros. to step down from the role of central villain Grindelwald. Depp has so far played the part twice, in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the 2018 sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Until now, the intention had always been for Depp to play the role throughout the rest of the movies, but, due to the actor losing a libel lawsuit against a British tabloid which had characterized him as being a "wife beater", the studio ultimately decided to distance themselves from any incoming controversy.
"In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement," Depp said in a statement on social media. "Firstly, I'd like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. 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. Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. 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. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time."
Despite Depp having departed from Fantastic Beasts 3 having filmed only one scene, it has been revealed that the actor will receive his full salary of over $10 million thanks to a pay-or-play stipulation in his contract.
Fantastic Beasts 3 recently began filming after a production delay, which is perhaps why they are looking to recast the role so quickly. The movie sees the return of Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, Jude Law as Dumbledore, Ezra Miller as Credence, Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein, Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, and Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is penning the screenplay alongside Steve Kloves, with returning director David Yates at the helm. Fantastic Beasts 3 is due to hit theaters on July 15th, 2022.
Are you happy for Mikkelsen to take over from Depp? The news of Mads Mikkelsen's involvement was first reported by Deadline.