Mads Mikkelsen talks about stepping into Johnny Depp’s intimidating shoes in Fantastic Beasts 3, and why the latter might play Grindelwald again.
Joining an existing franchise is never easy, but joining an existing franchise as a revamp of a central role comes with its own set of issues. At the Sarajevo Film Festival this week, Mads Mikkelsen talked about joining the cast of Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets and replacing Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald.
Before Fantastic Beasts 3Mikkelsen, already a star in his native Denmark, saw his popularity rise dramatically with his role as Le Cipher in the 2006 film Bond Casino Royale. However, nothing sent him to stardom quite like his role as dapper cannibal Hannibal Lecter in NBC’s Hannibal series created by Bryan Fuller. The incredibly bloody yet complex and ultimately oddly touching series saw Mikkelsen star alongside Hugh Dancy and Gillian Anderson, and the show ran for 3 seasons before being cancelled.
Mikkelsen was at the festival to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and spoke at the event’s “Coffee With…” event on Monday morning. Mikkelsen spoke about his apprehension about taking on the role and how his interactions with Depp fans went once the news broke. “It was very intimidating,” Mikkelsen said of Depp’s replacement in Fantastic Beasts 3. “Obviously, well, now the course has changed – he won the case, the court [case]- so let’s see if he comes back. He could. I’m a huge Johnny fan. I think he’s an amazing actor, I think he’s done a fantastic job. That said, I couldn’t copy it. There was no way I could just copy him because it’s so him. It would be creative suicide. So, I had to find something else, something that belonged to me, and build a bridge between him and me. So, yes, it was intimidating. His fans were very, very nice, but they were also very stubborn. I didn’t interact with them much, but I could understand why they were heartbroken.
The Mikkelsen suit references Depp’s ongoing legal issues with ex-wife Amber Heard at the time. The trial ended with a jury awarding $15 million to be paid by Heard. However, Heard appealed the verdict and hired new layers.
Despite Mikkelsen’s statement that Depp could return, there is currently no suggestion. In fact, the Dumbledore’s secrets is the worst performing film of the Magic world franchise and received mixed reviews upon release. The films also feature embattled actor Ezra Miller in a starring role as Creedence Barebones, giving further speculation about the series continuing.
Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets is now available on digital platforms.
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