Fantastic Beasts 3 Video Debuts First Glimpse Of Mads Mikkelsen Replacing Johnny Depp As Grindelwald

Mads Mikkelsen as Galen Erso in Rogue One
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Although a lot of familiar characters are returning next year in Fantastic Beasts 3, a.k.a. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, one of them won’t look the same as when we last saw him. Following his time on Gellert Grindelwald in the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, Johnny Depp exited the role, and weeks later, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s Mads Mikkelsen was selected to take over as the Fantastic Beasts film series’ main antagonist. Now we finally have our first glimpse at Mikkelsen in character as Grindelwald.

In a new video from Warner Bros. highlighting the Wizarding World franchise and its fans, some new footage from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is tacked on at the end to tease the first trailer for the threequel premiering next Monday. This includes a quick look Mads Mikkelsen’s Gellert Grindelwald:

Mads Mikkelsen's Grindelwald surrounded by cheering crows in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

As you can see, Mads Mikkelsen’s Gellert Grindelwald is standing in a triumphant pose while surrounding by a crowd cheering him on. It’s unclear exactly what they’re celebrating, as well as if all these people are his followers or simply fans of Mr. G. In any case, it’s nice to finally know what Mikkelsen looks like playing Grindelwald a little over a year after it was announced he was joining the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Mads Mikkelsen is the fifth actor to play Gellert Grindelwald in the Wizarding World franchise. Jamie Campbell Bower and Michael Byrne respectively played the young and older version of the dark wizard in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1, and for the majority of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Colin Farrell appeared as the character disguised as Auror Percival Graves. The plan was for Johnny Depp to reprise Grindelwald in his natural form for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and he even shot a day’s worth of scenes. But after Depp lost his defamation lawsuit, Warner Bros. requested he resign from the role, and the actor obliged.

When we last left off with Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, he’d amassed a large following to help him in his quest to have pureblood wizards ruling the world, with Alison Sudol’s Queenie Goldstein and Ezra Miller’s Credence Barebone (who Grindelwald claims is actually Aurelius Dumbledore) joining his ranks. In the 1930s-set Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Grindelwald’s army and power continue to grow, and with World War II approaching, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and his allies will clash with Grindelwald’s followers while on a mission assigned by Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore.

Mads Mikkelsen said back in May that he will not “copy” Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald performance, so it’ll be interesting to see how his take on the character is different from what his predecessor did. Ideally we’ll get our first taste of that in the first Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore trailer next week. The movie itself will work its magic in domestic theaters on April 15, 2022.

While we wait for more news about the third entry in the Fantastic Beasts film series, check out our 2022 release schedule to see what other movies will arrive next year. And for the Harry Potter fans out there, an HBO Max special titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will premiere on January 1, 2022.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.