Mads Mikkelsen on Replacing Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts 3': 'These Are Sad Circumstances'

While he's thrilled at the opportunity to join the cast of the upcoming movie, the 'Hannibal' actor can't help feeling 'super sad' for the original Geller Grindewalt depicter.

AceShowbiz - Mads Mikkelsen has broken his silence after he's officially tapped to replace Johnny Depp in "Fantastic Beasts 3". Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the Danish actor reflected on the "sad circumstances" surrounding the original Geller Grindewalt depicter's exit from the upcoming movie and the franchise due to the drama following his divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard.

"Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice," Mikkelsen said about being cast as the new Grindewalt. Expressing his sympathy for Depp, he added, "It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon."

Mikkelsen also talked about how his version of the villain will be different from Depp's. "Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference," he quipped, before explaining, "No, this is the tricky part. We're still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved."

Depp announced his exit from "Fantastic Beasts 3" on November 6 after losing a libel suit against British tabloid The Sun over a 2018 article that labeled him a "wife beater." He said in a statement posted on Instagram 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."

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."

Warner Bros. then confirmed Mikkelsen's casting on November 25 after it was previously reported that the "Hannibal" alum was director David Yates' choice to play the main villain.

"Fantastic Beasts 3" has been in production with Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law leading the cast. The movie is currently scheduled to open in theaters on July 15, 2022, after it was moved from its original due date of November 12, 2021.

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