Mads Mikkelsen has been confirmed for the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, following Johnny Depp’s exit.
The 54-year-old actor was recently reported to be the frontrunner to replace Johnny after he exited the franchise earlier this month, and on Wednesday (Nov 25) Warner Bros. officially confirmed Mads will take on the role.
Mads will make his debut as the Dark Wizard in Fantastic Beasts 3, which is in production at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden, and currently has a release date of July 15, 2022.
Johnny had only shot one scene since production began on Sept 20 in London. Despite his early departure, The Hollywood Reporter said he is still entitled to his full salary of the role, said to be at least US$10 milllion (S$13.3 mil).
Last week, Mads said he was "waiting for a phone call" about the role, as he insisted news of his casting was just a rumour at the time.
He said: "Oh, that is on the rumour basis as we speak. So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I'm waiting for that phone call.”
The Hannibal star will be replacing Johnny Depp — who played Grindelwald in the first two movies in the Harry Potter spin-off franchise — after he stepped down from his position at the request of Warner Bros., following the loss of his libel case against The Sun newspaper.
He said in a statement at the time: "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.”
The 57-year-old actor had taken action against the British publication after they branded him a wife beater who had assaulted then-spouse Amber Heard, but a judge ruled in favour of The Sun earlier this month, when Johnny’s defamation accusation was thrown out.
At the time, Johnny’s legal team vowed to appeal the decision, but on Wednesday, their initial appeal was denied by a judge, who claimed the case doesn’t have “a reasonable prospect of success”. — BANG
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos