Explained: Why Mads Mikkelsen replaced Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3

'And I know it was controversial for many people, but that's just the way it plays out once in a while,' Mads Mikkelsen recently said on him playing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3.

FP Staff June 29, 2021 16:35:55 IST
Explained: Why Mads Mikkelsen replaced Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3

Mads Mikkelsen. Image by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

Mads Mikkelsen, who rose to fame after playing Tonny in the first two films of the Pusher trilogy, will be seen as Gellert Grindelwald in the third instalment of Fantastic Beasts.

Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Ezra Miller will be reprising their roles from the last two films.

David Yates is directing the untitled third part from a screenplay by JK Rowling and Steve Kloves. Rowling, Kloves, David Heyman, and Lionel Wigram are producing.

Johnny Depp's exit from Fantastic Beasts

In November 2020, Depp revealed he will no longer play Grindelwald in the film series after he lost his libel case relating to abuse allegations by former wife, actor Amber Heard against a UK newspaper.

He shared a statement on Instagram saying that Warner Bros, the production house financing the film, had asked him to resign in light of the court's verdict. Depp went on to assert his innocence and said he planned to appeal.

Here is the statement


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Johnny Depp (@johnnydepp)

(Also read on Firstpost —Johnny Depp denies claims of domestic violence against Amber Heard; a timeline of their legal battle)

This development was also confirmed by Warner Bros in a statement: "Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date.”

Depp reportedly was asked to leave after shooting one day on the film — he was paid for the whole film but had a five-picture deal — and Warner Bros was on its toes trying to book a new actor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he had only filmed one scene before being fired from the project, so Mikkelsen would not need to replicate much footage.

Fans on social media had petitioned for Depp to be reinstated in the film. Recently many have once again taken to social media and trended the hashtag #JusticeforJohnny. They have also objected to Heard's continuation in her Aquaman 2 role, the shooting for which has kickstarted.

Mads Mikkelsen's casting

After Depp's firing there were rumours of Mikkelsen being roped in to play Grindelwald. Deadline reported that the Danish actor, known for playing Hannibal Lector, was Yates first choice to play the dark wizard.

Mikkelsen denied these reports and claimed to only be aware of the development as much as the newspapers did. "Oh, that is on the rumour basis as we speak. So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I'm waiting for that phone call," said the actor according to Screen Rant.

In November 2020, Warner Bros confirmed Mikkelsen joining the cast of Fantastic Beasts 3.

The actor spoke about how his take on the villainous role would differ from Depp's rendition in an interview with EW in December last year. "No, this is the tricky part. We're still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved," he said.

He added that landing the opportunity was a "shocker" especially after the events that led to it. He also wished both Depp and Heard his best, and hoped they would be "back in the saddle again."

In a recent interview with The Times, he said while he was unsure whether Depp losing the role was fair, but producers knew that the show must go on. Mikkelsen he wished he could have talked to Johnny Depp before giving his nod to the third instalment of the Harry Potter spin-off franchise. "And I know it was controversial for many people, but that's just the way it plays out once in a while," he explained.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

 

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