UPDATE: It looks like it is official. Entertainment Weekly has broken the news that Mads Mikkelsen will indeed take over the role of Grindelwald. It is currently uncertain how exactly they’ll introduce the new character and if he will continue the same design.
The Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts has just ramped up its production for the third installment. Shortly after, Warner Bros. asked Johnny Depp to step down from the role of Grindelwald due to the controversies surrounding his divorce. Now, it looks like director David Yates has already set his eyes on Depp‘s replacement. According to Andy Signore, they are currently in talks with Hannibal‘s Mads Mikkelsen to take over the iconic role. They are still aiming for the summer 2022 release date, as Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law are already filming. The Danish actor is currently working on Doug Liman‘s Chaos Walking, so it is unsure if there will be some scheduling conflicts.
Of course, there is still the question of how or if they will explain the change in the actor. Luckily, the first film in the franchise introduced the character of Percival Graves. He was played by Colin Farrel before he turned into Johnny Depp‘s Grindelwald. We might see him use the same spell to stay undercover throughout the story, or he reveals that he was again hiding his identity.
Mikkelsen is a fantastic actor, who was a stand-out in Hannibal, The Hunt, and Polar. His casting would be a great addition to the cast, and he is no stranger to the role of a villain. He could bring something unique to Grindelwald to make the role his own. The Danish actor has been appearing in various pop culture franchises, such as MCU’s Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. So, he is no stranger to franchises, as Fantastic Beasts is going to have multiple entries past the upcoming third one. Here’s hoping they can avoid any scheduling conflicts so he can join the project.
Source: Variety, Deadline, Digital Spy