AceShowbiz - "Fantastic Beasts" has officially found its new Gellert Grindelwald. Two weeks after casting news emerged that Mads Mikkelsen was in early talks to portray the main villain in the follow-up to "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald", Warner Bros. confirmed on Wednesday, November 25 to Deadline that the Danish actor has been cast in "Fantastic Beasts 3".
The studio was moving fast to find Johnny Depp's replacement after the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star agreed to leave the franchise following his loss in a libel lawsuit with a British tabloid. The "Hannibal" alum was reported to be director David Yates' choice to play Grindelwald earlier this month.
He, however, denied that he was negotiating to star in the movie when asked by IGN last week. "Oh, that is on the rumor basis as we speak," he told the site over the phone. "So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I'm waiting for that phone call."
Fans, meanwhile, pushed for the studio to hire Colin Farrell, who already played Grindelwald in disguise in the first film, 2016's "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them". The actor, however, is currently unavailable as he has been filming another Warner Bros. movie, Matt Reeves' "The Batman", in which he's playing one of the villains, The Penguin.
Depp announced his withdrawal from the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise via Instagram on Friday, November 6. "I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request," he said in a statement.
"Fantastic Beasts 3" has been in production with Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law leading the cast. The movie is currently scheduled to open in theaters on July 15, 2022 release, after it was moved from its original due date of November 12, 2021.