It’s only been a few days since Johnny Depp was asked to walk away from the role, but Warner Bros. seems to have already found their new Grindelwald. Fantastic Beasts 3 looked to be thrown into disarray – again – last Friday when the Pirates of the Caribbean star announced he had stepped down as the franchise’s main villain at the studio’s request. But tonight, it was reported that his replacement is in early talks to take over the part.
The man in question is Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish talent most known as the titular cannibal in NBC’s Hannibal. Mikkelsen is one of Hollywood’s favorite go-to “villain actors” these days, following his performances in the likes of Bond movie Casino Royale, MCU film Doctor Strange and the upcoming YA flick Chaos Walking. He’s a perfect choice to become the new Gellert Grindelwald, then, and fans are already reacting positively to the news on social media, as you can see below…
Got to hand it to WB, that was fast!
— FomoCast (@Fomo_Cast) November 11, 2020
UM HELLO https://t.co/tGGimF18AM
— ᴊᴏʀᴅᴀɴ (@nukedfridges) November 11, 2020
OK, you have our attention.
You have my attention…
— Rich “#BidenHarris2020” Wojcicki (@Rp_Dub) November 10, 2020
Some already prefer Mikkelsen’s version of the dark wizard to Depp’s.
I actually prefer this!
Mads Mikkelsen in talks to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3 https://t.co/LwHLWYEBvX
— fancyfembot (@fancyfembot) November 11, 2020
— ⛧Lynn Dee Salazar⛧ 🏳️⚧️ #TransAndProud (@iDeeSalazar) November 11, 2020
If Depp had to leave, then his recasting doesn’t get much better than this.
— Atom Tickets (@atomtickets) November 10, 2020
This tweet neatly sums up why the star is such a good hire.
Is this – 🦋 – perfect casting? Mads Mikkelsen will bring a physicality to Grindelwald the role lacked before. And a hidden bonus? How fast he learns. He'll need to as production is already underway. https://t.co/oK7dVrbYAj
— 🍁 Alisha Grauso 🍂 (@AlishaGrauso) November 10, 2020
Meanwhile, others are already shipping Mikkelsen’s Grindelwald with Jude Law’s Dumbledore.
A MADS MIKKELSEN AND JUDE LAW KISS IN FANTASTIC BEASTS 3 I WOULD LIKE TO SEE IT
— jem! (@cr4bz) November 10, 2020
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Production on the prequel threequel has been underway in the UK since September, with Depp having already completed one scene. His pay-or-play contract is still valid, too, so it’s believed the actor will receive his full 8-figure sum for the movie despite being let go. Assuming the deal is closed and he officially signs on, Mikkelsen won’t have to reshoot very much material, so filming shouldn’t be held up too much by the switchover.
Nonetheless, Fantastic Beasts 3 has been pushed back from November 2021 to July 2022, nearly four years since the previous outing arrived. Maybe that’ll help audiences swallow Grindelwald’s facelift?