After a brief period of fevered speculation, it was finally confirmed that Mads Mikkelsen will be replacing Johnny Depp in the role of the most dangerous dark wizard of his time, Gellert Grindelwald, in Fantastic Beasts 3. Considering the popularity of Depp and his distinctive take on the character, Mikkelsen has his work cut out for him in making fans buy him as the new Grindelwald. In an interview, Mikkelsen revealed how his new spin on the character will be different and simultaneously similar to Depp's.
"Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference. No, this is the tricky part. We're still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved."
Grindelwald's involvement in the Fantastic Beasts franchise started out as a secret. At the end of the first film in the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it was revealed that Grindelwald has been hiding in plain sight all along, and orchestrating the negative events that took place in the story. Depp's role as Grindelwald was kept a secret for much of the film's promotions, and audiences were pleasantly surprised to discover the actor was going to be playing the dreaded dark wizard in the series.
With the sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, it was revealed that Grindelwald was intent on starting a world war that would result in the subjugation of the muggle world under the wizarding world. Fans of the Harry Potter novels know that Grindelwald is to be ultimately defeated by Albus Dumbledore, but for now, the two cannot go head-to-head due to an age-old magical contract that they created in their youth as friends.
Fans are expecting the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 3 to finally have Dumbledore and Grindelwald come face-to-face. Only this time, Dumbledore, played by Jude Law, will not be facing off against Depp as Grindelwald, but rather Mads Mikkelsen. Fans are still not happy with the way Warner Bros. replaced Johnny Depp as Grindelwald following the domestic abuse case the actor became embroiled in earlier this year. For his part, Mikkelsen acknowledged the unfortunate circumstances that led to him becoming Grindelwald.
"Job wise, [the role of Grindelwald is] obviously super interesting and nice. It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon."
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. This news first appeared at Entertainment Weekly.