Mads Mikkelsen will replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, it has been confirmed.
Depp, who portrayed the villainous character in the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, was asked by Warner Bros to resign from the role earlier this month after he lost a libel trial related to domestic abuse allegations by his ex-wife, Amber Heard.
It was later reported that Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal and Casino Royale) was in “early talks” to step in for the next film, which is set for release on July 15, 2022.
Today (November 25), the Danish actor’s casting has been officially announced by Warner Bros, with Fantastic Beasts 3 currently in production at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden (via Deadline).
Mikkelsen will appear alongside returning stars including Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Ezra Miller. David Yates will once again direct from a screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves.
It’s said that Depp had shot just one scene for the film before his departure, though it’s claimed he will still be paid in full for reprising his role in the series’ forthcoming third instalment.
“Warner Bros will be on the hook for Depp’s full salary, even though he only had shot one scene since production began on September 20 in London,” The Hollywood Reporter claimed. “Like many A-list stars, Depp had a so-called pay-or-play contract, which requires that he be fully compensated whether or not the film is made and even if it is recast.”