In the days following Johnny Depp’s (forced) departure from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them 3, there had been much speculation as to which actor could step in and be the Gellert Grindelwald of the Pirates of the Caribbean star. Some expected Colin Farrell to return to the role, while many speculated actors like Benedict Cumberbatch to depict the pure evilness of the character on screen. And now, putting all rumours to rest, Warner Bros has officially confirmed the actor who will be Grindelwald next– Mads Mikkelsen.
Yes, we know that just days ago, Mads Mikkelsen denied the rumours of him being cast as the feared wizard in Fantastic Beasts 3. Speaking to IGN, Mikkelsen simply negated all the reports about the film’s director David Yates pitching him as a replacement for Depp. “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,” he said.
But now, Warner Bros has officially confirmed the news, announcing that Fantastic Beasts 3 will see Oscar-winner Mads Mikkelsen as the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald. This news will come as a major upgrade for fans who found Depp’s portrayal of the infamous wizard too much in line with his earlier roles and hardly portraying the villainy the role needs. But given Mikkelsen’s rich career as a certified baddie in films like Doctor Strange, Hannibal, Casino Royale, and many more definitely makes him perfect for the role of Grindelwald.
Mikkelsen has recently wrapped up shooting for the Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley starrer Chaos Walking directed by Doug Liman and is expected to join the production of Fantastic Beasts 3 which recently resumed shooting after countless delays. The production is currently underway in Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, outside of London.
TheWrap has reported that though Depp did shoot a few scenes for the film, no reshooting will be needed. So, Fantastic Beasts 3 now has a predominantly Oscar-winning/nominated lead cast including Eddie Redmayne reprising his role as Newt Scamander and Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore. The film will also star Katherine Waterston, Victoria Yeates, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Callum Turner, William Nadylam, Poppy Corby-Tuech, and Jessica Williams.
Though the shooting has resumed, the release date for the film has been bumped down from November 2021 to 2022’s summer, with 15th July being the new release date barring further delays.