Mads Mikkelsen officially replaces Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3

It's confirmed.

Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
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  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset

Mads Mikkelsen had been the favorite to take over the role of Gellert Grindelwald.

Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images

The Fantastic Beasts movies have found their replacement for Johnny Depp: Mads Mikkelsen will officially take over the role as villain Gellert Grindelwald, according to Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday.

Mikkelsen (Hannibal, Rogue One) had been the favorite to take over Depp's role as the dark wizard, originally played by Colin Farrell in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first movie in the JK Rowling-penned Harry Potter world franchise.

Warner Bros. asked Depp to resign following his lost libel lawsuit against UK publication The Sun that alleged he was abusive toward his ex-wife Amber Heard.

Depp had begun shooting the untitled third movie, reportedly completing a single scene before he was forced out. Still, the studio had to pay his eight-figure salary, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The untitled third movie in the series, following the second movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is in production in the UK. The film's original 2021 release date has been pushed back to July 15, 2022.

Fan response to the casting news has been mixed so far.

"Johnny Depp is the only Grindelwald we accept," said one Twitter user.

"As much as I love Mikkelsen, I'm not going to watch the movie without Depp," another tweeted.

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