As many in the Harry Potter sphere probably know by now, Johnny Depp was asked to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series. This came after Depp lost a libel lawsuit that claimed he was an abusive spouse to ex-wife Amber Heard. With this, the actor departed after only having filmed one scene of Fantastic Beasts 3. Now, Mads Mikkelsen has been cast in his place, and reality of him replacing Depp is truly beginning to sink in now that the actor is on set.
It would appear that things on the set of Fantastic Beasts 3 are moving right along, and Mads Mikkelsen is now getting to work. The actor explained to the Associated Press that he's only been on set for a week and that so far, he's enjoying the experience. He also praised director David Yates as being "super nice" and appropriately "fantastic" and also said that he's working with a good group of people.
During the brief interview, Mikkelsen went on to say that he has not spoken with Johnny Depp concerning the Grindelwald role. However, the actor hopes to smoothly connect the bridges between the two differing Grindelwalds and do the role justice.
Since landing the role of the titular cannibal in NBC’s Hannibal, which has its own cult following and fandom, Mikkelsen has broken into other fandoms with his roles in Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Star Wars spinoff Rogue One. So it only seems fitting that he adds the Harry Potter universe to his rolodex.
Mads Mikkelsen has long proven he can play a complicated villain, so we know he will make for a worthy Grindelwald. It is, however, somewhat rare that a major character in a film with such a following and well known casting pick would be taken over by another actor. It will take a unique skill set to play the character in a way that does not disrupt the flow of the film.
Grindelwald has already made quite a mark on the wizarding world and, unlike He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the original Harry Potter film series, we became immediately familiar with his face and voice. While both villains are charismatic in their own right, Grindelwald has made himself widely known and recognizable in a personable way.
It will be interesting to see how Mads Mikkelsen comes into the role of Grindelwald and if he is able to fully bridge the gap left by Johnny Depp. CinemaBlend will continue to cover how this story progresses, so check back for updates as sneak peeks are released. Fantastic Beasts 3 is scheduled to be released on July 15, 2022.