Mads Mikkelsen Eyed to Replace Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts' Franchise
WENN/Warner Bros. Pictures

The 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' actor is reportedly director David Yates' choice to play Grindelwald after Depp agreed to leave the franchise in the wake of his defeat in a libel lawsuit.

AceShowbiz - Warner Bros. is moving fast to fill in the void left by Johnny Depp in "Fantastic Beasts 3". Mads Mikkelsen is now reportedly eyed to replace the "Alice in Wonderland" actor, who was asked to withdraw from the film after he came out on the losing end of a libel lawsuit with a British tabloid.

According to Deadline, there are several actors who have been considered to take over the role, but Mikkelsen is director David Yates' choice to play Grindelwald. And the two parties are now said to be in early talks for the part.

"Fantastic Beasts 3" kicked off production in September and Depp had filmed one scene before he was asked to leave the franchise. The 57-year-old took to Instagram on Friday, November 6 to announce he was stepping down, writing, "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 added of his legal judgment, "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. 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."

Meanwhile, the cast led by Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law continue shooting with the aim of keeping the film on track for its July 15, 2022 release, after it was recently moved from its original due date of November 12, 2021.

Mikkelsen is a Danish actor who achieved worldwide recognition for playing the main antagonist Le Chiffre in 2006's James Bond film "Casino Royale". He is also widely known for his roles as Igor Stravinsky in "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky" (2008) and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter on NBC's series "Hannibal".

The 54-year-old, who won Cannes Film Festival Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Award for his role in Danish film "The Hunt", has also been part of blockbusters films such as Marvel's "Doctor Strange" (2016) and Lucasfilm's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story". He recently wrapped the filming of Doug Liman-directed film "Chaos Walking".

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