Less than a week after Johnny Depp’s resignation, Mads Mikkelsen is in early talks to replace Depp as Grindelwald in the third installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Deadline has reported. Apparently, the Danish actor is Warner Bros. number one choice to replace the former pirate.
Mikkelsen is no stranger to villainous roles, big budget blockbusters, or even iconic characters. The actor has played the villain in the Bond flick Casino Royale, Doctor Strange, and his Hannibal Lecter in the show Hannibal netted him a Saturn Award. A role that seemed impossible to play after Anthony Hopkins‘ turn as the iconic serial killer, though Mikkelsen impressed with his take on the character.
If Mikkelsen does land the role, it will be a welcomed addition that might not bring the same star power as Johnny Depp, but it will certainly bring an actor just as talented. The Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, and Jude Law led picture is currently filming and is set for a July 2022 release.
The wizard film started shooting on September 20 in London, so with that knowledge it is no surprise that Depp has shot one scene before he was forced to resign. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the A-List star will be receiving his full salary for the film, which is common in most popular stars’ contracts, even if the film is cancelled or, like in this case, the actor is recast.
All of this comes after Johnny Depp lost a recent libel case against former spouse Amber Heard. Warner Bros. was waiting to see the outcome until they pulled the plug on Depp, who still technically resigned.
This will be a huge change of pace for the film that apparently focuses on Newt, Dumbledore, and Grindelwald equally throughout its runtime. Meaning that Depp not only had the most amount of screentime, along with Redmayne and Law, but also had the largest salary, as he is by far the one with the most box office success after The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Along with the Depp debacle, Warner Bros. also had to push the production schedule back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both of these occurrences have raised the budget as COVID protocol can add up and they are now paying Depp the same amount for him not to appear in the film as they would have had to pay for him in the film. It certainly will be interesting how this installment plays out.
Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently shooting in London and is set for a July 15, 2022 release date.