LOS ANGELES: In the forthcoming third film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen has been selected to replace Johnny Depp, Warner Bros. said on Wednesday.
The wicked wizard Gellert Grindelwald will play Mikkelsen, 55, who is known for his appearance as the serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the US television series Hannibal, in a spin-off film by Harry Potter author J.K. From Rowling.
“After losing a libel lawsuit in Britain against a tabloid newspaper that called him a “wife beater,” Depp was forced to quit the job earlier this month. In the three-week trial in July, Depp and his estranged wife Amber Heard heard details of a tempestuous marriage characterised by abuse on both sides and heavy drinking by Depp.
Depp, who had recently started work in London on the third Fantastic Beasts film, said Warner Bros. had requested him to quit.
As well as taking parts in Danish dramas such as The Hunnt and A Royal Affair, Mikkelsen also played roles in adventure films Doctor Strange and Casino Royale.
Based on the magical exploits of Newt Scamander, the Fantastic Beasts movies are set about 60 years before the Harry Potter movies, but feature some of the same main characters when they were younger.
The third film in the series, still untitled, is scheduled to be released in July 2022.
The first two of the five anticipated Fantastic Beasts films received $1.5 billion at the worldwide box office, according to Box Office Mojo.