Why Fantastic Beasts’ Mads Mikkelsen Says His Fantastic Four Audition Was NOT Fantastic

Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius in Doctor Strange
(Image credit: (Marvel))

As of late, Mads Mikkelsen has been finding himself checking off roles on some of the biggest movie franchises of all time. He’s Casino Royale’s Le Chiffre, Star Wars’ Galen Erso, Doctor Strange’s Kaecilius and Fantastic Beasts’ new Grindelwald, and he was just cast in an undisclosed role in Indiana Jones 5. And at one point, Mikkelsen was on its way to play a major role in 2005’s Fantastic Four until he simply walked out on the opportunity.

While gathering worldwide fame for his James Bond role, Mads Mikkelsen shared one of the auditions he went on in the early 2000s that did not go well. He apparently went up for the role of Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic, but he just was not into it. Here's how he told it when he mentioned Fantastic Four while talking about his early Hollywood career:

Yeah, and actually a good friend of mine got it, Ioan Gruffudd. I know a lot of casting is just first impressions — is there anything there that reminds the producer and the director of the character they’re looking for? But I find it rude to ask people to come into a room and say one line while pretending you have 80-foot arms like the rubber man. ‘Grab that cup of coffee over there’ — it’s like, Are you crazy? There’s not even a scene here. It was kind of humiliating.

Welp... that sounds like an odd audition if I ever did hear about one. Mads Mikkelsen reflected to Vulture about going up for Mr. Fantastic, sharing how ridiculous it felt for him to deliver a single line and get flexible. It sounds like the Marvel producers didn’t have a lot of depth in mind for Reed Richards, and Mikkelsen is well known for bringing a large and textured presence to his roles, even in blockbusters.

As Mads Mikkelsen spoke about the lost Fantastic Four part, he didn't sound too sad about missing out on playing the leader of the Marvel team. His friend Ioan Gruffudd nabbed the role alongside Jessica Alba’s Sue Storm, Chris Evans’ Johnny Storm and Michael Chiklis’ Ben Grimm. Tim Story’s movie became an early success for Marvel and inspired a sequel years before the MCU had formed.

Just as Chris Evans found a second life in the superhero world after Fantastic Four with his Captain America role, Mads Mikkelsen’s bad audition for the 2005 movie did not deter him or Marvel from coming together for Doctor Strange. Though looking back, the Hannibal actor could have been a seriously awesome Reed Richards at the time.

Over 15 years later, Mads Mikkelsen is one of the most sought-after actors in the business, currently bringing his own take on Fantastic Beasts’ Grindelwald after Johnny Depp was asked to leave the role last year. And as mentioned earlier, he just lined up a role alongside Harrison Ford for the next Indiana Jones adventure, which is set to begin filming this summer.

As for the Fantastic Four, they're getting ready to be rebooted (again) for the MCU following a disappointing 2015 film starring Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller. The new Fantastic Four movie will be directed by Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Jon Watts and could come as soon as 2022. Check out the full Marvel movie lineup headed our way, starting this summer with Black Widow, here on CinemaBlend.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.