The team behind Fantastic Beasts 3 had to move quickly in order to find a replacement for Johnny Depp as Grindelwald with shooting already well underway, while also trying to secure an actor capable of inheriting the role of the villainous wizard that wouldn’t generate even more backlash from Depp’s army of fans, who were furious that he’d been dropped from the series.
It looks like the studio have struck the perfect balance, though, by approaching Mads Mikkelsen to become his replacement, with the actor having a dedicated and loyal following of his own, as well as a reputation for playing charismatic and engaging bad guys. The 54 year-old is one of the few names out there that fans would accept as a substitute for his predecessor, and the reaction to the news that he had entered talks was encouragingly positive.
Based on the dynamic he created opposite Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham during three seasons of Hannibal, there are no doubt already some people furiously scribbling fan fiction about the potentially sizzling encounters between Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald and Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore, and new fan art from BossLogic imagines how the Rogue One star could look as the Wizarding World’s greatest threat, which you can check out below.
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If Mikkelsen does end up signing on the dotted line, he’s going to have to jump headfirst into production on Fantastic Beasts 3, with Depp having already filmed one scene for which he’ll pick up at least $10 million thanks to his pay-or-play contract. The third installment in the Harry Potter prequel series isn’t due to hit theaters until the summer of 2022, though, which gives fans plenty of time to acclimatize to the idea of someone else playing Grindelwald.