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Mads Mikkelsen discusses replacing Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3

"These are sad circumstances."

Mads Mikkelsen will take over the role of dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies.
Warner Bros.

Mads Mikkelsen's new role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies presents a bigger task than normal: He must figure out how he's going to take over a character established by Johnny Depp, whose fans are unhappy with Warner Bros.' decision to ask him to resign.

Mikkelsen (Rogue One, Hannibal) had a simple answer to address his take on the role of the dark wizard, originally played by Colin Farrell in the first Fantastic Beasts movie. The role has a few layers: Farrell's version eventually transforms into Depp's version, believed to be Grindelwald's true form.

"Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference," Mikkelsen told Entertainment Weekly during a press interview about his new film Another Round.

"No, this is the tricky part," he continued. "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."

Mikkelsen praised Depp's version of the character.

"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."

In early November, Warner Bros. asked Depp to resign, following his lost libel lawsuit case with UK newspaper The Sun that alleged he was abusive toward his ex-wife Amber Heard.

After staying silent on the circumstances leading to his casting, Mikkelsen has now addressed them.

"Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice," he said. "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."

Depp had begun shooting the untitled third movie, reportedly completing a single scene before he was forced out. But he still received an eight-figure pay check, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The untitled third movie in the series, currently in production in the UK, is expected to be released July 15, 2022.