Warner Bros. has been building its house on a foundation of Harry Potter for almost 20 years now. It’s been a solid formula for the studio, but the last year has shaken the foundation. Author J.K. Rowling’s problematic tweets have caused the company to distance itself from the author, and this week the studio formally announced that Johnny Depp would be exiting Fantastic Beasts 3, where he was set to reprise his role as Gellert Grindelwald. Now, though, WB is reportedly eyeing actor Mads Mikkelsen to replace him.
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is at the top of the short list to join the Fantastic Beasts 3 cast, according to a report from Deadline. Deadline’s sources say that Mikkelsen is Fantastic Beasts director David Yates’ first choice to play Grindelwald, and that he’s already in early talks to do so.
Depp, who played the character in the first two movies, found himself pushed out of the role earlier this week after losing a British court battle against a tabloid that labeled him a “wife beater” in connection to his marriage to actress Amber Heard. Warner Bros. asked Depp to leave after he’d filmed just one scene last month in London. Depp isn’t hurting–the studio is apparently paying out an eight-figure salary to the actor for his single scene.