What may be one of the best casting upgrades in recent memory, it appears Mads Mikkelsen is in talks to replace Johnny Depp as the villain Gellert Grindelwald in “Fantastic Beasts 3.”
Deadline reports that “Hannibal” actor Mads Mikkelsen is the top choice to take over the role of Grindelwald in the next installment of the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise. Of course, nothing is confirmed just yet, but per Deadline “Sources said [Mikkelsen] is [David] Yates’ choice to play Grindelwald and he is in early talks. The aim is to keep on track a picture that recently moved its original November 12, 2021 release date to summer 2022. The cast led by Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law are already shooting.”
Depp, of course, was asked by Warner Bros. to resign from the film earlier this week following the loss of a legal battle against a British tabloid. Despite this, Depp is still being paid for the whole film. The report doesn’t name what other actors are being considered for the role, but makes it clear the studio seems to be actively pursuing Mikkelsen to lock the role as soon as possible.
The role of Grindelwald, as imagined in “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” was originally played by Colin Farrell, who was already a good choice of casting, before inexplicably revealing that he was but a disguise by Depp’s actual Grindelwald. Even throwing aside the actor’s personal life, he never felt right in that role, while Mikkelsen’s history of playing seductive villains makes him a much more obvious choice to play the evil wizard that terrorized Europe long before Voldemort appeared, and also captured Dumbledore’s heart.
While it is still not confirmed that Mikkelsen will join the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, if the Deadline report ends up being true, that’d make him the only actor to have been a part of both the “Star Wars,” Marvel, and now “Harry Potter” universes.