For American audiences, Mads Mikkelsen might not be a household name, but there's a good chance that you're familiar with the danish actor's work. Whether it's Casino Royale, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, or Doctor Strange, to name only a few of his high-profile titles, the Another Round star has made a lucrative career playing minor or major roles in some of the biggest movies in the world.
That tradition continues with two upcoming titles, which will find him inside the magical world of Hogwarts in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 and acting in one of the biggest action film franchises in cinematic history in Indiana Jones 5. If you love the actor (you're mad about Mads) but not totally sure where you've seen the famous actor before, we're here to help. Here are the famous film franchises starring the one and only Mads Mikkelsen. And this article does contains spoilers.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Mads Mikkelsen played Galen Erso, a brilliant scientist who was forced to make what would later become the Death Star's super-laser, in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While Mikkelsen only gets a limited amount of screentime in this space saga, he plays a key emotional character for our main protagonist, Jyn Erso. In a firefight that would result in his demise, Mikkelsen's character establishes the dramatic stakes for our then-child lead character, one who would later hold a burning resentment towards the domineering Imperialist army. Her fight in the ill-fated battle for the Rebellion is emboldened by her desire to do right by her late father and try to protect others from suffering a similar fate. Alas, while her character isn't successful in her mission, she carries the burning spirit of her father's undying tenacity under her final breath.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Nowadays, nearly every major name in Hollywood has worked on a Marvel movie or two at some point in their career. It's practically a right of passage. Certainly, that's no exception for Mads Mikkelsen. The Danish actor played Kaecilius, a villainous sorcerer with life-altering powers, in Doctor Strange. Admittedly, this is an example of a character's look being more distinctive than their personality, but Mikkelsen does sell an appropriate amount of menace through this supporting performance. His intense eyes and his stern face are good at communicating the dangers that lurk within this time-and-space-changing bad guy. His character didn't have a long stay in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (the actor isn't expected to return for the sequel), but he made a decent impression nonetheless.
James Bond has faced his fair share of foes throughout a 50-year cinematic career, but few bad guys were more nefarious than Le Chiffre, a private banker who finances international terrorism, played by Mads Mikkelsen in 2006's Casino Royale. A half-blinded villain who will go to perverse lengths to torture our young lead character, Mikkelsen plays a snarling meanie who wouldn't stop until world domination was in his grasp. While the actor admits that this knowledge of 007 was limited when he took on this role, he plays into the Bond bad guy fabulously well, capturing the intense disdain and dread that was needed for this tonal shift in the character's reworked origin story. The result remains Daniel Craig's finest outing as 007, though we'll have to wait to see how No Time to Die compares to this '00s reboot.
When the currently-untitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 makes its way into theaters, you can expect Grindelwald to look different than he did in the previous two movies. That's because Mads Mikkelsen took over the part after Johnny Depp left the project. Certainly, as we've noted in this article, the actor is no stranger to playing villainous or antagonistic figures, and this role should come as no exception. Certainly, the previous movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, made it apparent that the character was going to have a bigger role in this newest sequel, so we should expect that acclaimed actor to get some ample screen time in this upcoming wizarding sequel. The sequel finished filming earlier in April and it's slated for release on July 15, 2022. We'll have to wait until then to see how Mikkelsen fares in only his latest villainous performance.
On July 29, 2022, Indiana Jones will crack the whip once more with a brand new sequel, which will feature a slew of new characters joining the aged adventure seeker on his latest (and presumably last) adventure. Details are limited at this time, but we know that Harrison Ford will be joined by Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen in undisclosed supporting roles. Based on his experience with previous franchise features, it's natural to assume that Mikkelsen will be playing one of the movie's antagonistic figures, but that's merely speculation. As the blockbuster sequel remains in the early days of pre-production, we'll be learning more about this untitled Indiana Jones sequel in the months ahead. For now, though, we can only hope that this newest film from director James Mangold (Logan) serves as a fitting farewell to one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history.
While NBC's Hannibal is certainly not a film, this acclaimed television adaptation of Thomas Harris' most famous character remains one of the actor's most recognized and distinguished performances, eventually earning a vibrant cult following even when the ratings weren't consistently high. Starring Mads Mikkelsen in the title role, filling in big shoes in Anthony Hopkins' Oscar-winning absence, the lead actor certainly holds his own, making his own take on the character that is, at once, reverent to Hopkins' legendary portrayal while also making the character his own. The result is an impressive turn in a show that only continued to impress throughout its three-season stay on the network. Alas, while the vocal audience couldn't keep the show on the air, this high-profile performance not only continued the actor's notorious villain streak but continued to earn the actor praise for his meaty work. He certainly relished this role — no fava beans or chianti needed.
For more updates on Fantastic Beasts 3, Indiana Jones 5, and more, be sure to follow CinemaBlend!
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.