Fantastic Beasts’ Mads Mikkelsen says ‘it’s a shocker’ to replace Johnny Depp: ‘These are sad circumstances’

‘I wish both of them the best,’ actor said of Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 07 January 2021 11:23 GMT
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Mads Mikkelsen has spoken out for the first time after replacing Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3.

Depp resigned at the request of Warner Bros after losing a libel case against The Sun over a 2018 article that called him a “wife beater”.

His recasting comes after the actor was denied permission to appeal against the High Court’s ruling, which concluded that he assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard. However, he was allowed to apply directly to the Court of Appeal, 

Depp, 57, has always denied being violent towards Heard.

Mikkelsen described being tapped up to replace Depp’s character, Gellart Grindelwald, as a “shocker” in a brand new interview.

“Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice,” he told Entertainment Weekly, adding: “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.”

He added: “I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon.”

When asked how he'll be introduced in the film, Mikkelsen said that the producers are “still working it out”.

“This is the tricky part,” he said. “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.”

Johnny Depp resigned from ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at the request of Warner Bros
Johnny Depp resigned from ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at the request of Warner Bros (Getty Images for La Fondation Pr)

Heard’s role in Aquaman 2 has since come under fire from Depp’s supporters following his requested resignation from the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

A petition was set up to remove Heard from the sequel, and it has since received more than 1.6 million signatures.

Addressing the petition, Heard told EW: “Paid rumours and paid campaigns on social media don’t dictate [casting decisions] because they have no basis in reality.”

Depp had completed one scene for Fantastic Beasts 3 and will be paid his full fee for the movie.

Mikkelsen’s new film, Another Round, will be released in the UK on 5 February.

This article was updated on January 7, 2021, to add that Depp was given permission to apply directly to the Court of Appeal regarding the libel trial.

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