Mads Mikkelsen is in talks to replace Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. The Fantastic Beasts franchise went through a major shake-up over the last week. It was announced by Depp that he exited Fantastic Beasts 3 following a request from Warner Bros. to no longer be involved. The news came after Depp previously debuted as the Dark Wizard at the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the main villain of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Once the news of Depp's exit was revealed, the biggest question about Fantastic Beasts 3 suddenly became who will take on the role instead. Warner Bros. confirmed that they would recast the part, and fans began calling for many different actors to take on the part. Many even wanted to see Colin Farrell return to the franchise to play Grindelwald, as he played him in his Percival Graves form in the first film. However, with Farrell being too busy with The Batman to return to the Harry Potter franchise, it appears WB has found its next Grindelwald.
According to Deadline, Mads Mikkelsen is the top choice to play Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. He is reportedly the favorite for director David Yates and is in early talks to play the part. Although his deal is not yet signed, the report notes that Yates is a big fan of Mikkelsen's work and is working with WB to try and lock him in.
Mikkelsen is no stranger to playing major villains on the big and small screen. He recently starred as Kaecilius, an evil sorcerer, in Doctor Strange, so making the jump to Grindelwald won't be a problem. But, Mikkelsen is arguably best known for playing Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the three seasons of Hannibal. The talented actor has also gone against type by playing Galen Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With his history of playing villains and experience on blockbusters, Mikkelsen is a great choice to step into the role of Grindelwald.
If Mikkelsen does decide to play Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, it could ultimately prove an upgrade over Depp. Although Depp is undeniably the bigger box office star thanks to his days of playing Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Mikkelsen is a terrific actor with a strong fan base. Hopefully, a deal does close, and Mikkelsen reports to set before too long, as the rest of the cast is currently filming the sequel. With Fantastic Beasts 3 not scheduled to arrive until July 2022, though, it might be a while before fans catch a glimpse of what he'll look like as Grindelwald.
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