The producers on Fantastic Beasts 3 had to move fast in order to find someone to replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, as filming was already well underway. It was also important to secure an actor for the role of the villainous wizard who wouldn’t generate any backlash from Depp’s army of fans, who were furious that he’d been dropped from the franchise. But by snagging Mads Mikkelsen to become his replacement, it seemed like they found the perfect person.
After all, the Hannibal star has a dedicated and loyal following of his own, and typically excels while playing charismatic and engaging antagonists. In fact, he’s probably one of the few actors that folks would be alright with as a substitute for Johnny, and the reaction to the news that he had begun talks with WB to take over the role was pretty positive. According to Mikkelsen himself, though, he’s not the man for the job.
Speaking with IGN, he shot down the reports that said he’s in discussion to be the franchise’s new Grindelwald, telling them:
“Oh, that is on the rumor basis as we speak. So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I’m waiting for that phone call.”
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The news that Mikkelsen was replacing Depp was widely reported on, by many major outlets and all of the notable trades. As such, it was strongly believed that it was indeed true. But apparently, that’s not the case. Or maybe it is…
After all, the actor might just be playing coy here until the studio is ready to make things official. Alternatively, perhaps the news got out before WB was ready to put forward a firm offer. In any case, Fantastic Beasts 3 is looking to be the make or break installment for the franchise and we imagine that Warner Bros. will issue some sort of statement on Depp’s replacement sooner rather than later. Watch this space for more.