Following the news that Johnny Depp has been asked to resign from his role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, it has now emerged that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is ‘in talks’ to take on Depp’s character.
In a handwritten statement released last week, Depp revealed that he was departing the franchise in the wake of a judge ruling in favour of tabloid newspaper The Sun, who had labelled him a ‘wife-beater’. Depp wrote, “Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days. Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request. Finally, I wish to say this. The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.”
Depp had previously signed a five-picture deal with Warner Bros but was reportedly asked to leave the set after just one day of shooting. Although the actor will still be paid a rumoured $10million fee for the film, the team working on the film have been left in an unfortunate position as they search for a replacement.
According to Deadline, Mads Mikkelsen is the man who is poised to join the franchise with the actor in talks to play Grindelwald. Some of the actor’s best-known work includes his excellent performance as villain Le Chiffre in Daniel Craig’s first James Bond film Casino Royale and Dr Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal.
The report states that Mikkelson is the first-choice of director David Yates and that they hope to have a replacement for Depp secured as soon as possible. Bosses are planning for the film to hit cinemas in summer 2022 after it was delayed from its original winter 2021 release date.
Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law are among the cast members who are already shooting.