Mads Mikkelsen: Trying to copy Johnny Depp for 'Fantastic Beasts 3' would be 'creative suicide' (exclusive)

·Contributor
·2 min read
Composite image showing Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale and Johnny Depp in a Fantastic Beasts poster. (Sony Pictures/Warner Bros.)
Composite image showing Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale and Johnny Depp in a Fantastic Beasts poster. (Sony Pictures/Warner Bros.)

Mads Mikkelsen says he didn't attempt to recreate Johnny Depp's performance as Gellert Grindelwald for Fantastic Beasts 3.

Johnny Depp resigned from the Harry Potter prequel film in November 2020 at the request of studio Warner Bros. in the wake of his failed libel case against The Sun newspaper which labelled him a ‘wife beater’. Casino Royale star Mikkelsen was announced as his replacement within a week, and has since completed production on the film.

"It’s a tricky thing and I’m not sure we’ll really get it right,” Mikkelsen told Yahoo about stepping into Depp's shoes while promoting his latest film, the darkly comedic revenge thriller Riders of Justice

Read more: Major movie roles that were recast

“We’ll do our best. The worst thing you can do is try to copy what the previous actor did, especially when you have a talented actor, who I have been a fan of since I was a kid in Johnny Depp.”

Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in <i>Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald</i> (Warner Bros.)
Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner Bros.)

“Don’t copy it,” he tells himself. “That is creative suicide. He did his thing, it was amazing. Let’s find a couple of bridges, and then make it our own – that’s the only way we can do it. The rest is just a strange comparison.”

In the Harry Potter universe, Grindelwald is an immensely powerful evil wizard, who is regarded as second only to Voldemort. 

Mads Mikkelsen in Riders of Justice (Vertigo Releasing/Rolf Konow)
Mads Mikkelsen in Riders of Justice (Vertigo Releasing/Rolf Konow)

Fans had initially hoped Colin Farrell, who played a version of Grindelwald in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, would replace Depp but his The Batman commitments ruled him out.

Fantastic Beasts 3, which sees the return of Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law and Ezra Miller, is scheduled for release on 15 July, 2022.

Riders of Justice will be released in cinemas and digitally on Friday, 23 July. Watch a trailer below.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting