Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been chosen as a replacement for Johnny Depp in the third film of “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, Warner Bros. confirmed on Wednesday. Mikkelsen, 55 is known for his role as a serial killer by the name Hannibal Lecter in the U.S. television series “Hannibal” and will now play the role of evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the spin-off movie from the Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
Depp was compelled to exit the role earlier this month after losing a libel case in Britain against a tabloid newspaper that labelled him as “wife beater”. In the three-week trial in July evidence was heard from Depp and his former wife Amber Heard about a conflicting marriage characterized by violence on both sides and of heavy drinking by Depp. Depp said he was asked to leave Warner Bros. when he had already begun the production on the third “Fantastic Beasts” movie in London.
Mikkelsen has played roles in action movies “Doctor Strange” and “Casino Royale” as well as playing roles in Danish dramas such as “The Hunnt” and “A Royal Affair.” The “Fantastic Beasts” is a movie accounting the magical adventures of Newt Scamander set about 60 years before Harry Potter. Several prominent characters of Harry Potter make their presence in the “Fantastic Beasts” as younger selves.
The third movie is without a name as of yet and is set for a release in July 2022. A total of five movies have been planned. The first two films have earned $1.5 billion at the global box office, as per Box Office Mojo.