Johnny Depp ‘to be replaced’ by Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen in Fantastic Beasts

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Johnny Depp has lost a lot this month. The legendary Hollywood star’s furious legal battle with a British publication which lasted months has now come to an end. Unfortunately for Depp, he lost the libel case against the publication, and in-turn lost against his ex-wife Amber Heard. Although this was quite a blow for the 57-year-old, things quickly got worst for him.

Shortly after the court case came to an end, the Edward Scissorhands star posted a statement on his Instagram account.

The statement explained that he was stepping down from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, as the studio behind it – Warner Bros – had asked him to.

Depp had already starred in two of the Harry Potter franchise movies as Gellert Grindelwald – the series’ antagonist.

While this move shocked fans, new reports have suggested the studio has already begun looking for a new actor to take Depp’s place.

The latest reports suggest director of the upcoming Fantastic Beasts 3 has already got his eye on one actor in particular.

Sources claim that director David Yates is looking into bringing Mads Mikkelsen on board to play Grindelwald.

Mikkelsen is perhaps best known for appearing in the long-running NBC TV show, Hannibal, in which Mikkelsen plays the legendary cinematic villain, Hannibal Lecter.

Mikkelsen also starred as the main villain in 2016’s Doctor Strange, in which he played Kaecilius, the evildoer attempting to kill off Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange, and claim an Infinity Stone. 

While nothing is confirmed just yet, the report went on to say the director’s aim was to keep the film in its already signposted release date of Summer 2022.

Gellert Grindelwald already duped characters in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by transforming himself into Graves (Colin Farrell), so his physical change into Mikkelsen will not pose too much of an issue for the story. 

The statement released by Depp shortly after the court case read: “In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement.

“Firstly I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty. I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.

“Secondly, 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 that and agreed to that request.”

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Depp added: “Finally I wish to say this, The surreal judgement of the court in the UK will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.

“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. Thank you for reading. Sincerely, Johnny Depp.”

Warner Bros. responded with their own statement shortly thereafter, which said: “Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

“We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.”

Although the Alice in Wonderland star lost out on his Fantastic Beasts role, news has recently surfaced that Pirates of the Caribbean producer, Jerry Bruckheimer, is looking to bring Depp back on deck.

Recent reports say Bruckheimer is fighting tooth and nail to bring his pal back on to the project.

The sources explained Bruckheimer and Depp are in “direct contact” whilst trying to “work something out” regarding a return to the series.

The Fantastic Beasts films are available to watch on NOW TV.

READ THE ORIGINAL REPORT HERE

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