Mads Mikkelsen hasn’t talked to Johnny Depp about his role in Fantastic Beasts 3. Mikkelsen recently replaced Depp as Grindlewald in the movie.

Mads Mikkelsen hasn’t yet talked to Johnny Depp about his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. The film, directed by David Yates, serves as the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, a prequel to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise. The film is set in Berlin, Germany, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and takes place several years after, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. While the premise of the forthcoming movie has not yet been disclosed, it has been reported that Fantastic Beasts 3 will showcase the events that lead up to the Wizarding World’s involvement in World War II.

The first two Fantastic Beasts films featured Johnny Depp as the powerful, charismatic, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald who terrorized the Wizarding World. Depp was supposed to play the villainous role for the entire franchise. But following his loss in the defamation suit against The Sun, a newspaper that called him a ‘wife-beater,’ he was fired by Warner Bros. Not long after Depp’s exit, reports surfaced that Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen had been approached to replace Depp. Although Mikkelsen initially denied the speculations, in December, Warner Bros. officially confirmed his casting for the role. Mikkelsen has already begun filming Fantastic Beasts 3, and in some recent interviews, he has also opened up about replacing Depp in the movie. This week, for instance, Mikkelsen revealed if he had gotten in touch with Depp after his casting announcement.

During a recent conversation with AP Entertainment, Mikkelsen confirmed that he hasn’t yet spoken to Depp about playing Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 3. According to Mikkelsen, he does not know Depp very well and has only met him once. And although he would love to get in touch with the actor to learn more about the character, he doesn’t have his phone number.

“No, I don’t know him. I’ve met him once. I wish I had his phone number, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.”

While Mikkelsen isn’t in contact with Depp, he is still trying to honor everything Depp put into Grindelwald’s character. Mikkelsen’s strategy for Fantastic Beasts 3 is to build a “bridge between what he [Depp] did” and what he will do in the new movie. Mikkelsen himself is waiting for his character to play out in the film and hopes his fans appreciate his work. Previously, Mikkelsen stated that he was looking for links between his part and the previous version of the character. While he will undoubtedly add his spin to the character, he is also seeking to ensure that his depiction of Grindelwald does not depart too much from what Depp has ‘masterfully achieved.’

Although Mikkelsen lacks Depp’s cinematic star power, he is a star in his own right. And regardless of whatever the reactions to the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard controversy might be, it is undeniable that Mikkelsen is a killer choice to play Grindelwald. Mikkelsen has a cult fandom, and his several Zulu and Satellite wins over the years are a manifestation of his superior acting caliber. At the same time, fans have already warmed up to Depp’s version of Grindelwald throughout the two Fantastic Beasts films. Whether or not they will appreciate this altered version of the brooding villain in Fantastic Beasts 3 will only be apparent when the movie hits theaters on July 15, 2020.

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