Fantastic Beasts 3: See What Mads Mikkelsen Could Look Like Replacing Johnny Depp As Grindelwald

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter franchise has been consistently entertaining audiences for decades, and it's showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Wizarding World has stayed in theaters thanks to the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which serves as a prequel to Harry's time on the big screen. David Yates' threequel is currently in production, although there was a major shakeup when Johnny Depp was asked to step down from the role of Grindelwald. Acclaimed actor Mads Mikkelsen replaced him, and now fan art imagines what the Hannibal actor might look like as the magical villain.

Johnny Depp was revealed to be the real Grindelwald in the final moments of the first Fantastic Beast film, as Colin Farrell's Percival Graves was actually the villain in disguise all along. Depp's character got to take the spotlight in the aptly titled Crimes of Grindelwald, although now a third actor will play the role. Enter Mads Mikkelsen, and fans are wondering what he might look like in the role. Check it out below, thanks to some A+ fan art.

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Well, consider me sold. Mads Mikkelsen has played plenty of iconic villains throughout his career, so he's a perfect actor to replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. While his performance is sure to differ from his predecessor, smart money says styling and costumes will closely resemble Grindelwald's established appearance.

The above image comes to us from the Instagram of digital artist Axel Plessis Comte. They've got an interest in major blockbusters like Fantastic Beasts, and creating fan art to bring theories and casting updates to life. Here we see Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald, complete with his white eye and signature wand. And it certainly seems like the 55 year-old actor is going to be able to pull the look off.

Fantastic Beasts 3 has already had a bumpy road to theaters. The film was gearing up to begin production last spring when sets around the world were shut down over global health issues. And when the cast and crew finally assembled again, Johnny Depp was asked to step down from his part. A replacement was quickly found, and it should be interesting to see how big of a role Grindelwald ultimately has.

Johnny Depp's departure came in response to the actor's ongoing legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard. When the actor lost his libel case against The Sun for referring to him as a "wife beater," Warner Bros. decided to part ways. We'll just have to wait and see how the situation proceeds in court, and if Depp's career is further affected by the controversy.

For his part, Mads Mikkelsen has definitely proven himself as a capable actor who is skilled at playing chilling villains. Aside from his starring role in Hannibal, Mikkelsen also played notable antagonists in Doctor Strange and Casino Royale. I can't wait to see what he brings to Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, especially as the character's complicated relationship with Dumbledore is further explored.

Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently expected to arrive in theaters on July 15th, 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.