The Harry Potter saga has a history of recasting key roles (there have been three Dumbledores, for one thing), but Johnny Depp’s firing from the Fantastic Beasts franchise has to be the most headline-grabbing. After cameoing in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and featuring prominently in Crimes of Grindelwald, Depp was replaced for threequel Secrets of Dumbledore, with Mads Mikkelsen taking on the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
Now that Secrets is playing in many international territories and is opening in U.S. theaters this weekend, there’s a lot of speculation right now over where the FB movies will go from here. Mikkelsen, for one, hopes that he’ll get an invite to return as Grindelwald. While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the former Hannibal star opened up about how he got into his villain’s headspace.
Mikkelsen revealed that, as he never got around to asking creator J.K. Rowling for the character’s official backstory, he made up his own explanation for Gellert’s hatred of muggles. “My reason is that something happened to his entire family when he was a child that explains the hate he carries around,” the actor said. He then added: “It’s a fantastic, detailed, complex universe [Rowling’s] created, and I’d love to hear her thoughts on it. I hope I will do more than this one [film].”
Unfortunately for Mikkelsen, and fans who are keen to see more of him as Grindelwald, the future of Fantastic Beasts appears to be on shaky ground right now. After so many controversies surrounding its cast and crew, Warner Bros. is reportedly considering shelving its plans to make two more entries in the series, or else bringing it to a close earlier than expected with film four. Secrets‘ weak box office predications don’t inspire much hope, either. Still, this is the Wizarding World we’re talking about, which is definitely not going to disappear anytime soon.
While Grindelwald’s fate remains open-ended, catch Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in cinemas from April 15.