Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who will be replacing Johnny Depp in the third Fantastic Beasts movie, said that he wishes he could speak to Depp about his role as the Dark Lord Gellert Grindelwald.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, the Doctor Strange and Rogue One star shared his complicated feelings around taking the part over from Depp, who announced his departure from the role and film last November after appearing in 2018's Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald.
Mikkelsen recounted that the process was a bit rushed as Warner Bros. was seeking an immediate replacement for the character. While he agreed to the role, he admitted he didn't really know Depp's whole story or if his removal from the film was "fair." He wanted to speak to Depp about the role, but simply didn't know him well enough to do so. While the whole scenario may have been a bit controversial, he acknowledges it is sometimes just the way of the business.
Mikkelsen will take over the role of villain Grindelwald, whom Depp portrayed in the first two films. Depp was expected to return, but he came under scrutiny recently during his highly public divorce from Amber Heard. Depp was accused of domestic abuse. He's denied the allegations, but lost a high-profile libel case against a newspaper that dubbed him a "wife-beater." Due to the allegations against him, Warner Bros. asked him to step down from the role as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
During his interview with The Sunday Times, Mikkelsen also teased a bit about how his take on Grindelwald — the powerful dark wizard with ties to the eventual Hogwart's headmaster Albus Dumbledore — will be different from Depp's. Mikkelsen had told that he won't be trying to copy Depp's style since it would be "creative suicide".