Mads Mikkelsen opens up about replacing Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts 3'

PTI
Los Angeles Published: Dec 03, 2020, 05.23 PM(IST)

Mads Mikkelsen and Johnny Depp Photograph:( Twitter )

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The actor, known for films 'Casino Royale' and 'Doctor Strange', and playing the titular villain in the series 'Hannibal', has broken his silence on taking up the role from Depp a week after the studio Warner Bros Pictures confirmed his casting.

It was a "shocker" of a moment says Danish star Mads Mikkelsen after he was asked to step in to play the dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald following Johnny Depp's exit from 'Fantastic Beasts 3'.

The actor, known for films 'Casino Royale' and 'Doctor Strange', and playing the titular villain in the series 'Hannibal', has broken his silence on taking up the role from Depp a week after the studio Warner Bros Pictures confirmed his casting.

Depp, who had played Grindlewald in the first two installments of the fantasy film series, exited the third chapter after losing a major libel suit relating to abuse allegations by former wife, actor Amber Heard against a UK newspaper last month.

The challenge, Mikkelsen said, is to add his own touch to the character of Grindlewald while retaining "a few links" with how Depp played the role. "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," the 55-year-old actor told Entertainment Weekly.

Mikkelsen also said while landing this job opportunity was "obviously super interesting and nice", it was also sad that the casting came in the aftermath of a very public legal dispute. "It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. 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," he added. "Fantastic Beasts 3", the third film spin-off in JK Rowling's Harry Potter universe is currently in production in the UK.

The shooting on the film had shut down in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. David Yates is directing the film from a screenplay by Rowling and Steve Kloves. Rowling, Kloves, David Heyman, and Lionel Wigram are producing. Depp first played Grindelwald in 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".

He reprised the part in 2018's "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald". Featuring franchise stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Ezra Miller, "Fantastic Beasts 3" is scheduled to be released on July 15, 2022.

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