Mads Mikkelsen in talks to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3 5 months ago

Mads Mikkelsen in talks to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3

Johnny Depp was dropped from the series last week

Mads Mikkelsen is reportedly in talks to fill the Johnny Depp-shaped hole in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

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Deadline reports that the Danish actor is top of the lists to take the role of Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3, and has already started early talks.

Johnny Depp was dropped from the franchise last week, after he lost his high-profile libel case against The Sun over the newspaper's reporting of his violence towards his ex-wife Amber Heard. The newspaper had labelled him a "wife beater", and the court sided with The Sun.

In an Instagram post, Depp said that Warner Bros had asked him to step down from the role. Depp had already filmed one scene from the film, which means he will still receive his full $10 million salary.

"The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal," stated Depp on Instagram. "My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time."

Fantastic Beasts 3 was due to start filming in March, but was delayed because of the coronavirus, and shooting restarted in September. The film's release date was recently shifted from November 2021 to summer 2022 following the departure of Johnny Depp.

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Danish star Mads Mikkelsen first came to international attention in 2006, when he played the sadistic villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale. He has since become a familiar face playing supporting or villainous roles blockbusters like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Clash of the Titans and Doctor Strange.

Mikkelsen also starred in three seasons of Hannibal playing the titular serial killer, and last year he appeared in the acclaimed video game Death Stranding.