Johnny Depp was selected to play the dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald in the Harry Potter prequel in ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ and its sequel ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.’ Depp was set to reprise the role in the third entry in the series but following the scandal around his turbulent relationship with ‘Aquaman’ actress Amber Heard, Warner Bros. asked him to step aside.
While speculation on who would play Grindlewald grew, ‘Rogue One’ actor Mads Mikkelsen was tapped to replace Depp, even after the film’s production was delayed due to the pandemic lockdowns.
Breaking his silence on the matter, Mikkelsen spoke with Entertainment Weekly about entering the Wizard World and replacing Depp.
“Well it’s going to be me, so that’s a difference,” he joked.
“No, this is the tricky part,” Mikkelsen explained. “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.”
When asked what he thought about being tapped for the role, he said, “Job wise, it’s obviously super interesting and nice.”
“It’s also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad,” Mikkelsen continued, referring to the ongoing legal battle between Depp and Heard. “I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon.”
Directed by David Yates, the third ‘Fantastic Beasts’ also features Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, William Nadylam, Poppy Corby-Tuech, Jessica Williams, Jude Law, and is based on a screenplay co-written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves.
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