FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE Star Mads Mikkelsen Opens Up On Replacing Johnny Depp

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore star Mads Mikkelsen has opened up on the process of replacing Johnny Depp, explaining why Grindelwald's change in appearance is never mentioned in the movie.

Colin Farrell was first to play Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, though we'd later learn that the villain's true face was, in fact, Johnny Depp's. The sequel showed us more of his interpretation of the Dark Wizard, though it was very much just another "weird" Depp performance. 

Following his very public divorce and subsequent legal battles with ex-wife Amber Heard, Warner Bros. made the decision to enlist Mads Mikkelsen to take over the role. Fans welcomed the news, but Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore never acknowledges Grindelwald's altered appearance.

"That was very deliberate," Mikkelsen tells THR (via "Everybody knows why [the actors changed]. The entire world knows why. It would almost be like an Easter egg to reality to point out we swapped actors. Hopefully we drag them in with the first scene and from there they accept this world."

The actor also addressed previous comments about wanting to speak to Depp before taking over the role, clarifying what he meant. "I wasn’t like, ‘Oh please let me talk to him.' It would have been great to touch bases, ‘clean the room’ in a sense. Maybe I’ll see him in the future."

"It was quite chaotic," Mikkelsen said of the rushed process of joining the Fantastic Beasts franchise following Depp's dismissal. "You don’t want to copy anything [Depp was] doing - that would be creative suicide. Even if [a role has] been done to perfection, you want to make it your own. But you still have to build some sort of bridge between what came before."

While we didn't love the threequel (you can read our review by clicking here), Mikkelsen is a highlight and we'd like at least one more movie to see what else he can do with the role. However, it's become clear in recent days that the franchise's future hinges on this instalment's success. 

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is now playing in theaters. 

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