Mads Mikkelsen to Replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald
Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
Editorial note: J.K. Rowling's comments about transgender people are disgusting and damaging, and her views do not align with mine. I condemn them in every way possible and fully support the LGBT+ community. Wizarding World content will continue to be covered on this website and my YouTube channel because Harry Potter remains one of my biggest passions despite my personal feelings about the author.
Following Depp's forced resignation at the beginning of November, Mads Mikkelsen will be stepping into his role as Grindelwald, the main villain of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise. Depp stepped down at the request of Warner Bros. after losing a high-profile libel lawsuit against a British tabloid amid his messy divorce from Amber Heard.
Mikkelsen is known for his roles in many franchises, but superhero fans will recognize him as Kaecilius, the villain in 2016's Doctor Strange. Mikkelsen was Warner Bros.' top choice to replace Depp, and will have to find a way to make the villain his own after Depp's portrayal in the first two Fantastic Beasts films. The third movie has already been filming for a month, so the pressure was on to find an actor that could quickly replace Depp, although Warner Bros. is attempting to mitigate this by filming all of the non-Grindelwald scenes first.
I wouldn't have picked Mads Mikkelsen as my top choice for Grindelwald. I think he could do something interesting with the role, but he doesn't appear to have the passion that Grindelwald needs based on what I've seen of him in other roles. To be fair, Depp didn't have that spark either, and I disliked his casting ever since it was rumored in 2016. I do think Mikkelsen will excel at the quieter moments and he'll be striking opposite Jude Law's Dumbledore, but I can't see him having a grand duel in front of a castle with decades of passion and heartbreak behind him.
I'm still holding out hope for Dumbledore and Grindelwald's "love story" to be shown in these prequels, although I don't think Rowling's tokenism and performative activism allows for an acknowledgment of their true relationship. However, I can see Mikkelsen's Grindelwald with Law's Dumbledore, which is something I could never say about Depp's. I'm definitely excited for us to get our first look at the new Grindelwald (I'm hoping the character's design changes a bit), but the ball better get rolling in Fantastic Beasts 3. We're two movies into a five-part series, and there's very little plot so far, especially considering that the franchise will span a 19-year period.
What do you think of Mikkelsen's casting? Are you looking forward to Fantastic Beasts 3, or did The Crimes of Grindelwald kill any interest you had in the series? Comment below!