Mads Mikkelsen denied rumors he would be replacing Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3 after Depp’s firing earlier this month.
Mads Mikkelsen has debunked casting rumors that he would play Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, for now. Johnny Depp was recently fired as the series’ main villain. The actor is in the midst of a years-long legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard. Both sides have alleged abuse in the relationship. The troubles have tarnished Depp’s reputation, with some at Warner Bros. worried about future delays due to court appearances and their bottom line if Depp’s reputation were to affect the already precarious box office position of the franchise.
Fantastic Beasts 3 has long been in the works. After the second film’s disastrous performance, both critically and at the box office, Warner Bros. is under a lot of pressure to get this film right. With a total of five films planned, the franchise has a long way to go before its epic conclusion, and the casting of Johnny Depp’s replacement is one step in that process. Fantastic Beasts 3 is billed as a three-hander, with Depp, Jude Law, and Eddie Redmayne set to share equal screen time.
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Speaking to IGN, Mikkelsen denied the casting rumors that have been circulating. Mikkelsen said that was just a rumor at the moment. The actor claimed to know as much as the newspapers that are running the story do, remaining evasive about the rumors. Reports circulating cited that director David Yates has Mikkelsen pegged as his top choice for Depp’s replacement.
“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.”
Once a highly bankable star, Depp’s image has since faltered. His role in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, expanded from the first film’s quick cameo appearance, wasn’t enough to save the film from floundering at the box office. While he pulled off the role of Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 2, there is still plenty of room for a new actor to take on the role. A lot is riding on the sequel, including the future of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and just who is going to replace Depp is one of the things people will look to as an early indicator of whether or not the film can pull it off.
Many believe Mikkelsen would be the perfect choice for the role. His starring turn as the titular villain in Hannibal is convincing enough evidence that Mikkelsen could pull off the villain with aplomb. His statement is not an outright denial, either, but rather an exercise in playing coy. If Mikkelsen is, in fact, Yates’ first choice for Fantastic Beasts 3, it could certainly give Mikkelsen something to do while he waits for the call for Hannibal season 4.
More: Why Mads Mikkelsen Is Fantastic Beasts’ Perfect Grindelwald Replacement
Key Release Dates
- Fantastic Beasts 3 (2022)Release date: Jul 15, 2022
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