Fans are still reeling from the shock of finding out that Johnny Depp has been removed from the Fantastic Beasts franchise in the role of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, and replaced by Mads Mikkelsen. There is a great deal of curiosity about how much input Depp will have in Mikkelsen's take on Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. During an interview with AP Entertainment, Mikkelsen revealed that he has not yet gotten in touch with Depp to talk about filling his wizarding robes.
"I've been here for a week now. They're fantastic, nice people. [Director] David [Yates] is a fantastic, super-nice, wonderful director. So far, it's been great. No, I don't know [Johnny Depp]. I met him once. I wish I had his phone number but unfortunately, that's not the case."
Depp has been a part of the Fantastic Beasts franchise from the start. He first showed up in the final moments of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, where it was revealed that Grindelwald had been hiding out in disguise in America, and causing great mischief.
Depp's Grindelwald took on a more prominent role in the sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, where it was revealed that the powerful dark wizard had plans to subjugate the world's non-magic population. The character was set to play an increasingly prominent role in the franchise when Depp unexpectedly released a statement back in November announcing the studio had asked him to leave the series, following controversy over his bitter legal battle with his ex-partner Amber Heard.
"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. 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."
Fans were furious to learn to learn of Warner's decision, and many swore to boycott the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts 3. The thankless task now rests with Mikkelsen to fill in for Depp, and hope to make the public accept his take on Grindelwald. According to the actor, he intends to create a performance that acts as a bridge between what he wants to bring to the role, and what Depp has done with the part already.
"There's nothing else I can do, to be honest. That's the only approach I can have, to connect the bridge between what he did and what I'm going to do. And then we'll see where it lands."
Directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, Fantastic Beasts 3 stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Mads Mikkelsen, and Jude Law. The film arrives in theaters on July 15, 2022. Fan art in the topper comes from BossLogic.