Wands at the ready…
Growing up with the wonderful world of Harry Potter was absolutely magical for millions of readers and audiences.
J.K. Rowling’s novels encouraged more children to read than perhaps any other author’s body of work, and the movie franchise was nothing short of a sensation.
By the time The Deathly Hallows rolled around, most long-term fans were either in or approaching adulthood. They had grown up alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione, but growing up should never mean saying goodbye to this singular wizarding world.
Back in 2016, Potterheads were thrilled to be welcomed back into the universe on the big screen with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
The Crimes of Grindelwald then served as a satisfying sequel in 2018 and speaking of which, some are growing curious as to whether the actor who plays Gellert has been replaced.
So, is Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3 or has somebody else stepped in?
Is Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3?
No, Johnny Depp is not returning to reprise the role of Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, and Mads Mikkelsen is cast in the role instead.
Deadline highlights that the 58-year-old star of Pirates of the Caribbean and beyond was asked by Warner Bros to step down from the part in the third Fantastic Beasts installment after he lost a libel case.
Johnny entered a legal battle with a British tabloid after they described him in a derogatory fashion in relation to his marriage with Amber Heard. However, the judge favoured the side of the tabloid, and Johnny was asked to depart from the project after having shot on set for just one day.
Although he received full pay despite not being in the film, he initially had a five-film deal with Warner Bros that he ultimately stood to lose as a result of the decision.
The Danish actor is officially locked in to take over as replacement, with the film being scheduled for release on Friday, April 15th 2022.
“That would be creative suicide”
Mads has previously impressed in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Pusher films, Another Round, Casino Royale, the Hannibal series and many more efforts.
He’s an incredibly accomplished actor, but as he addresses in an interview with Collider, approaching a role that has already been played by another comes with certain challenges:
“Nobody’s interested in me going in there and trying to copy anything, that would be creative suicide immediately, especially when it’s been done before and masterfully. So everybody’s expecting us to find a different path.”
He continued: “Having said that, we need a bridge between what he did and what I’m gonna do, so those bridges you have to find together, whether it’s a certain look, whether it’s a certain attitude in certain situations, but you have to make it your own. Anything else would be plainly just creatively stupid.”
Fans shouldn’t expect Mads’ portrayal of Grindelwald to be exactly the same as Johnny’s under these circumstances. It will certainly be exciting to see what unique qualities he brings to the dark wizard.
Johnny Depp weighs in
Variety reported on fan backlash regarding Johnny’s casting in the franchise back in 2018 and J.K. Rowling stood by the decision to have him tackle the role: “the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”
This led to the author receiving some heat online and Johnny himself weighed in on the situation, saying he “felt bad” for J.K. having to take that.
Addressing the reasons for the backlash, Johnny explained: “The fact remains I was falsely accused, which is why I’m suing the Sun newspaper for defamation for repeating false accusations.”
He adds that J.K. supported him because she had “seen the evidence”.
Despite being kept on for The Crimes of Grindelwald, we now know that he was ultimately let go once the aforementioned case didn’t go in his favour.