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Why Was Johnny Depp Replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Films?

Edduin Carvajal
May 24, 2022
03:45 P.M.

Johnny Depp portrayed dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the first two installments of the "Fantastic Beasts" film franchise, but Mads Mikkelsen replaced him in "The Secrets of Dumbledore."


The "Harry Potter" universe has such a large fanbase that the stories of the wizarding world could not end with "The Deathly Hallows." That was how "Fantastic Beasts" was conceived.

The third "Fantastic Beasts" installment, "The Secrets of Dumbledore," was released in April 2022 and will become available for streaming on HBO Max on May 30. The most significant change is that Mads Mikkelsen plays Gellert Grindelwald instead of Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp on July 17, 2013, in Tokyo, Japan | Source: Getty Images

Johnny Depp on July 17, 2013, in Tokyo, Japan | Source: Getty Images


"Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp has been in the eye of the storm since May 2016, when his ex-wife Amber Heard got a temporary restraining order against him after he was supposedly verbally and physically abusive during their time together.


Things got worse for Depp in 2018 when The Sun called him a "wife-beater." He denied the domestic abuse allegations and sued the UK tabloid for libel but ultimately lost.

Mads Mikkelsen on June 09, 2019 in Paris, France | Source: Getty Images

Mads Mikkelsen on June 09, 2019 in Paris, France | Source: Getty Images

In November 2020, Depp revealed on Instagram that he had been asked to resign from the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the third "Fantastic Beasts" movie, and he agreed.

Warner Bros., the production company behind the "Harry Potter" prequel, announced later that month that "Hannibal" star Mads Mikkelsen would portray Grindelwald in "The Secrets of Dumbledore."



People had mixed feelings when Johnny Depp was cast as Gellert Grindelwald in "Fantastic Beasts" mainly because of his legal issues with Amber Heard.

After Depp announced his departure from the project, fans of the "Harry Potter" universe shared their thoughts on social media.


A netizen pointed out that they loved Mads Mikkelsen and were happy he would be the new Grindelwald. However, they felt terrible for Depp.

With this information, picturing a "Fantastic Beasts" 4 is hard.

Another Twitter user wrote that while they'd love to see Mikkelsen replace Depp in the film, Warner Bros. was "dead wrong" for asking the "Sleepy Hollow" actor to resign and not doing the same with Amber Heard in "Aquaman 2."


One user got carried away and suggested replacing Eddie Redmayne (Newton Scamander) with Hugh Dancy (Will Graham in "Hannibal") and the "Fantastic Beasts" script with a "Hannibal" fanfic.


Although "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore" was profitable, it did not make the amount of money Warner Bros. expected at the box office. The same happened with the second installment, "The Crimes of Grindelwald," although "The Secrets of Dumbledore" performed worse.

With this information, picturing a "Fantastic Beasts" 4 is complicated. It is essential to point out that the "Harry Potter" prequel was initially planned as a trilogy, but it is now expected to have five films. Fans still need to wait for Warner Bros. to reveal the franchise's future.

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