Shortly after the exit of Johnny Depp from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Warner Bros. has cast Hannibal actor Made Mikkelsen to play the part of the film’s antagonist, Gellert Grindlewald.
At the request of the studio, Depp resigned from his role following the controversial loss of his lawsuit against The Sun. The newspaper had printed an article describing Depp as a “wife-beater” which resulted in the recently concluded libel case. Not long after, Depp announced his departure from the franchise at the request of the studio.
Despite losing the case, Depp has many supporters, with some even starting a petition to remove Amber Heard from the upcoming Aquaman movies. Before leaving, Depp was apparently able to film one scene for the third installment of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and he will be paid in full for doing so.
Before the official announcement of Depp’s departure, rumors had already been spreading that Mads Mikkelsen would be Depp’s replacement for the role of Grindelwald. Fans’ opinions were split, with some frustrated that having him on board would mean a Hannibal revival wouldn’t be happening any time soon.
In any case, the recast has caused the film’s release to be delayed. Initially set to release sometime in 2021, the film has now been rescheduled to July 15th, 2022.