After Johnny Depp’s sudden departure from the franchise following his ugly defeat in the libel trial against The Sun who called him a ‘wife beater’, the movie hit another bump in the road after its filming was delayed in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Not to mention the loss Warner Bros. has to incur owing to the 5 picture deal with Depp that stated he’ll be paid in full even if the production was to stop or his role was recast. As the demands for Depp’s removal grew, the latter has finally happened and fans were quick to speculate as to who would now be playing Gellert Grindelwald in the David Yates directorial. Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch and even Corin Farrell who appeared as Grindelwald’s disguise, Percival Graves, made to the hot talk. But Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen has made it to the forefront as he’s the director’s top choice to play the evil wizard, Gellert Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts films, as per Deadline. The news however is yet to be confirmed but whoever gets on board as Grindelwald, wouldn’t have much to reprise except for a small sequence shot by Depp after the production restarted in September. Very little is known of the movie’s plot except that it’ll see wizarding world embroiling in WW2. Earlier, it was scheduled to release in November 2021 but following the mishaps, it’ll now hit the screens in July 2022 starring Eddie Redmayne and Jude law in the lead. Other casts include Katherine Waterson, Ezra Miller, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler.
Mads Mikkelsen has perfectly executed antagonist roles in the past for example, Kaecilius in Doctor Strange and Hannibal Lector in the TV show Hannibal, so it’s safe to say that it wouldn’t be much of a task for him to spread fear and odium as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The 54 year old rose to fame for starring as Tonny in first two films of Pusher Trilogy.
Johnny Depp was introduced as Grindelwald in the end of the first Fantastic Beasts film following which he had a wide onscreen presence in the sequel, Crimes of Grindelwald. The actor had taken to Instagram to announce his ‘step down’ from the franchise. His upcoming movie, The Flash directed by Andres Muschietti is scheduled for release in June 2022 not long before the release of Fantastic Beasts 3.