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Johnny Depp has been officially replaced by Mads Mikkelsen in ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’

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Mads Mikkelsen has officially been cast as Gellert Grindelwald in the “Fantastic Beasts” franchise, replacing Johnny Depp.

Depp played the dark wizard in the first two instalments of JK Rowling’s series, including “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” but was recently asked to resign from the role following his unsuccessful libel lawsuit against the UK tabloid The Sun.

Mikkelsen was quickly rumored as Depp’s replacement, but the Danish actor previously said he hadn’t been contacted about the role and was “waiting for that phone call.”

That phone call must have come soon after, because his casting has now been made official.

Mikkelsen is best known for another villainous role in a mainstream mega franchise, as he played the James Bond villain Le Chiffre in Daniel Craig’s first Bond movie, “Casino Royale.” He also appeared as the villainous Kaecilius in “Doctor Strange” and as Hannibal Lecter in the NBC television series “Hannibal.”

Mikkelsen’s first appearance as Grindelwald will be in the third movie, in which Depp had shot only one scene, according to Variety, so reshoots will be at a minimum.

Depp was suing The Sun for calling him a “wife beater” in an article in relation to his marriage with Amber Heard, from whom he is now divorced. Heard, The Sun’s star witness, alleged that Depp physically abused her. Depp denied the allegations.

However, Judge Andrew Nicol came to the conclusion that Depp’s lawsuit could not succeed because The Sun’s lawyers had proved what the newspaper reported was “substantially true.” Depp was recently denied an appeal.

A post shared by Johnny Depp (@johnnydepp)

Following the trial, Depp posted to Instagram that he had been asked to resign from the role of Grindelwald by Warner Bros and would accept the request.

Mikkelsen will join Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander, and Jude Law, who plays a younger incarnation of Albus Dumbledore. The movie is scheduled for release in the summer of 2022.

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