The next time you see a Fantastic Beasts movie, things will be a bit different. For one thing, you may spent some of your time pretending that it has nothing to do with disgraced creator J.K. Rowling. For another, there will be either no or very little Johnny Depp. Last year, the actor was removed from the threequel due to the accusations lodged against him by ex-wife Amber Heard. And his replacement feels bad that the two didn’t at least get to have a chat before he took over.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mads Mikkelsen — who was hired to assume the role of foe Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spin-off/prequel — discussed the awkward nature of taking a role intended for a colleague.
“I mean, obviously, they were going to do the film, and obviously he was not involved any more,” Mikkelsen said. “But I didn’t have a dog in that fight. And I don’t know what happened [in his private life], and I don’t know if it was fair, him losing the job, but I just knew that the show was going on, and I would’ve loved to have talked to him about it if I had the chance, but I just don’t know him in that sense.
He added, “But they called me and they were obviously in a hurry, and I loved the script and so said yes. And I know it was controversial for many people, but that’s just the way it plays out once in a while.”
The Hannibal alum also talked about making the role his own. “I didn’t want to copy what Johnny had done. I think he’s a masterful actor, so copying him would’ve been creative suicide,” Mikkelsen said. “I had to figure out something that was definitely my own, and yet also act as a bridge to what he had done. My take is different, and the look is a little different, but we’ll have to wait for the film’s release [next year] to find out.”
The as-yet-untitled third Fantastic Beasts film is set to arrive in theaters on July 15, 2022.