Last Friday, it was reported Johnny Depp was being suddenly yanked from the third Fantastic Beasts entry. The reason? The failure of the libel suit he had filed against the British tabloid The Sun, which has been deemed not guilty for referring to him as a “wife-beater” in relation to his divorce from actress Amber Heard. Warner Bros. reportedly wished to distance themselves from Depp. Problem is, the movie had already re-launched production, with pandemic precautionary measures, of course. But it looks like they have quickly found a replacement for Depp’s character, fearsome villain Gellert Grindelwald, and it’s a thespian with a longer history at playing baddies.
According to Deadline, talks are under way with Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish actor who’s played the villains of Casino Royale, Doctor Strange as well as the cannibalistic anti-hero of NBC’s TV version of Hannibal. (For the record, he also played the kindly father of Felicity Jones’ hero in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, because the man has range.) Should he get the role, Mikkelsen will be the third person to play the role in the series in only three films. The first Fantastic Beasts concludes with Colin Farrell’s character revealing himself to be Depp’s Grindelwald, setting the stage for the 2018 sequel.
Depp may have only got to film one of his scenes before getting his walking papers, but he can’t be that sad: Monday it was revealed that he’ll still be receiving his full six-figures payment.