It’s always kind of a bummer when a franchise has to recast, especially if it’s a sudden change. Where Grindelwald of the Fantastic Beasts franchise is concerned, though, the loss of Johnny Depp is softened just a little by the casting of the fantastic Mads Mikkelsen as his replacement. The actor has a unique fan base of his very own from the many franchises he has been a part of, and it won’t be too long until we can see how Mikkelsen’s version of Grindelwald stacks up to the one we know from Depp. But Mikkelsen just compared his version to Depp’s and gives us a little sneak peek of what we can expect to see.
Although Mads Mikkelsen has already spoken on the difficulties of replacing Johnny Depp on screen, he is no stranger to taking over another iconic actor’s equally recognizable role. Mikkelsen portrayed the brutal Hannibal Lector on NBC’s Hannibal after Anthony Hopkins had the role in the famous horror films and, in an interview with Games Radar he speaks on how making a known character his own is different on Fantastic Beasts and how he is respecting Depp’s version of the character as well. Here is what Mikkelsen had to say, in his own words:
This is obviously a more direct comparison because it’s the next film. So we have done a few bridges that will allow us to recognize it, but we’ve also said we have to make it our own. I have been a fan of Johnny Depp since I saw him as a young man, and to try to bring his intensity and his way of doing it into my work is a no-go. I have to find my own, because his is unique, and I just have to let that be, and find a different path.
It sounds like we can expect Mads Mikkelsen to go in a little bit of a different direction than Johnny Depp did with the Grindelwald character, but that may not be a bad thing. One of the clingiest things a franchise can do when they recast is act like they are pulling the wool over our eyes by trying to make the new version of a character exactly the same as the old one.
It would be foolish to think that someone can do Johnny Depp just as good as Johnny Depp can, and you can very much see some of the actor’s personality and mannerisms in each role he takes on. No, Mads Mikkelsen is a smart man, and he’s not trying to recreate exactly what Depp did in the previous Fantastic Beast films. He knows that, as actors, they both have different styles and bring different things to the Wizarding World table.
Hearing that Mads Mikkelsen intends to respect Johnny Depp’s version of Grindelwald while also creating his own has honestly gotten me pretty excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3. While the film had some major setbacks before it could resume filming, it looks like Mikkelsen has also confirmed that they have wrapped up filming ahead of its release on July 15, 2022 and this muggle (or No-Maj) can’t wait until it hits theaters.