Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mads Mikkelsen Finally Opens Up About Replacing Johnny Depp In Fantastic Beasts

There's been a serious shakeup in the Wizarding World, and the new Grindelwald has finally spoken.

To say it's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for Harry Potter mastermind J.K. Rowling, and the entirety of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, would likely be an understatement, with the Warner Bros. bosses asking Johnny Depp to step away from his role as dark wizard supreme Gellert Grindelwald. That parting of ways came in the wake of Depp losing a libel case in a very public hearing against a U.K. publication which alleged he'd been physically and emotionally abusive to his ex-wife, actor Amber Heard (Aquaman).

Even as chaotic as things were for the Fantastic Beasts brain trust, they were no doubt just as crazy for Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen, whose name almost immediately dropped in as the actor to replace Depp for the coveted role. As it was, Mikkelsen even went so far as to deny he was in the running for Grindelwald mere days before the casting news was made official by Warner Bros. press team. As fans of the franchise have continued to chime in on the casting (in almost overwhelmingly positive fashion), the actor had, so far, remained mum about his new role.

Mikkelsen recently broke his silence in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly, telling the publication he's more than excited for the opportunity, but still a bit shaken about how it all came about. "Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice. 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."   

Mikkelsen is determined to make Grindelwald his own while acknowledging Depp's work

Seems Mads Mikkelsen is as conflicted by his Fantastic Beasts casting as anyone. Still, there's little question (even among Depp defenders) that Mikkelsen is a brilliant fit for the role. Some die hard fans even think the actor should've been cast as Grindelwald in the first place.

And if you're familiar with Mikkelsen's work, there's little reason to argue that logic. There's even less reason to think he won't seize the moment and deliver a performance every bit as electrifying and unnerving as Depp. Per Mikkelsen's comments to EW, his approach to Grindelwald will indeed be different, as he's looking to make the role his own while acknowledging the work that preceded him. "Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference," Mikkelsen cheekily offered. "No, this is the tricky part. 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. But also we have to find a few links and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved."

Bridging that gap will undoubtedly require a bit of magic from Mikkelsen. But even as the actor's screen skills will be tested when he suits up as Grindelwald, the Wizarding Zorld is uniquely suited to make such a change passable ... even logical. 

After all, the first Fantastic Beasts flick actually found Grindelwald using a potion to pose as an entirely different character (Colin Farrell's Percival Graves). Given that magic is the order of the day in this particular universe, it shouldn't take much to make the latest Grindelwald transformation work. Either way, we cannot wait to see Mikkelsen at work in Fantastic Beasts 3.