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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore Won't Address The Series' Most Glaring Change

The third installment of the "Harry Potter" spin-off series, "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore," is a day away from its U.S. release date. Set a few years after the events of 2018's "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," the film follows Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) as he and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), along with their allies, work to defeat the Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) and his army. David Yates returned to direct, making this his seventh Wizarding World film, and J.K. Rowling returned to write the screenplay, although this time taking on the task alongside Steve Kloves, who wrote the screenplays for all but one of the "Harry Potter" films.

Notably, there has been a major casting change in "Secrets of Dumbledore." Prior to this film, Grindelwald was played by Johnny Depp. However, in November 2020, it was announced that Depp was exiting the project following his losing a libel case against the publisher of a British newspaper related to his alleged abusive behavior toward ex-wife Amber Heard (via Entertainment Weekly). The actor took to Instagram to post a statement, in which he denied the allegations but confirmed that he would exit "Fantastic Beasts" after being asked to resign. Later that month, it was announced that Mads Mikkelsen had been cast in the role of Grindelwald, replacing Depp (via IndieWire).

Recasting a role is major news and many would argue, can be pretty distracting while watching a film. Despite this, "Secrets of Dumbledore" does not address this glaring change — here's what we know.

Mikkelsen said not addressing the recasting was 'very deliberate'

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mads Mikkelsen addressed the casting change for "Secrets of Dumbledore," including the fact that the script doesn't address it. THR writer James Hibberd explained that the film's team toned down the appearance of Grindelwald, opting not to go full platinum with Mikkelsen's hair and making the albino right eye less noticeable. All in all, Mikkelsen's Grindelwald looks nothing like Depp's, and yet the dramatic change in appearance is not addressed — despite the fact that, as Hibberd points out, the fact that Grindelwald is a wizard could have easily been used to explain it.

On that note, Mikkelsen said, "That was very deliberate. Everybody knows why [the actors changed]. The entire world knows why. It would almost be like an Easter egg to reality to point out we swapped actors. Hopefully we drag them in with the first scene and from there they accept this world."

Mikkelsen also discussed what his experience of taking over a role from another actor was like, explaining, "You don't want to copy anything [Depp was] doing — that would be creative suicide. Even if [a role has] been done to perfection, you want to make it your own. But you still have to build some sort of bridge between what came before."

When "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" is released in theaters on April 15, fans can decide for themselves what they think of the cast change — and whether or not they think it should have been addressed.