Fantastic Beasts 3 May Have Already Found Johnny Depp's Replacement, And It's An Excellent Choice

In the days since the announcement that Johnny Depp would be stepping away from the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies there has been a tremendous amount of speculation in regards to who would come in to replace him. With the next movie, temporarily titled Fantastic Beasts 3, currently in production, we knew that we would be getting an answer quickly, and fans were quick to throw out names like Colin Farrell (who played an in-disguise Grindelwald in the first movie), Ewan McGregor, and Joseph Fiennes. Now, however, it seems like the production has made its choice, as a new report says that Mads Mikkelson is the top choice for the role and is now in negotiations.

This news comes to us from Deadline, and should the Danish actor sign on the dotted line it will further expand his geek creditability – of which he has a great deal. Mads Mikkelson first gained attention from global audiences playing the villainous Le Chiffre in the James Bond reboot Casino Royale, and in the 15 years since has been a part of major franchises like Star Wars (with a key role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), the Marvel Cinematic Universe (where he was the main antagonist in Doctor Strange), and the horrific world of Hannibal Lecter (having played the titular role in the cult NBC series). It feels like it was only a matter of time before he got some kind of shot in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and now it looks like the role of Gellert Grindelwald is his for the taking.

As noted, Fantastic Beasts 3 is already filming, so Mads Mikkelson will need to get into character fast should he sign on. The cast already includes an impressive roster of talent including returning stars Eddie Redmayne (as protagonist Newt Scamander), Jude Law (as Albus Dumbledore), Katerhine Waterston (as Tina Goldstein), Ezra Miller (as Credence Barebone), Alison Sudol (as Queenie Goldstein), Jessica Williams (as Eulalie Hicks) and Dan Fogler (as Jacob Kowalski). David Yates is at the helm of the production, which is the seventh film he has directed for the franchise. Not much is known about the plot beyond the fact that it will follow up on the events from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, including the reveal that Credence is actually Aurelius Dumbledore, and his decision to join Gellert Grindelwald in his war against humanity.

Warner Bros. is expected to keep the production of Fantastic Beasts 3 on track during the recasting process, and they have announced their intention to have the blockbuster out in theaters on July 15, 2022. We'll keep you apprised of all details regarding the production, but in the meantime hit the comments section with your thoughts on the possibility of Mads Mikkelson joining the Harry Potter franchise.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.