Earlier this month, Johnny Depp revealed in an Instagram post that Warner Bros. asked him to resign from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the third entry in the Fantastic Beasts series and that he would be complying with those wishes. Depp's personal life, including his extremely contentious divorce from actress Amber Heard, has made the actor something of a black sheep in the industry, with people unsure whether they would support anything he was in. Since then, Warner Bros. has been looking for a replacement for Depp, and it appears that they have found one. According to a press release sent out by Warner Bros. and obtained by IndieWire, the initially rumored frontrunner for the role Mads Mikkelsen will be replacing Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3, which is currently in production in London.
The Fantastic Beasts series have had kind of a weird ride so far. The first movie did pretty well and got generally favorable reviews from critics and fans of the Harry Potter series. This was the beginning of a multi-part story that Warner Bros. was planning on telling, but the second movie did not do as well. It underperformed at the box office, and not even fans of the Potter books seemed to like it that much. Warner Bros. seemed to be banking on the idea that anything in the Potter world would do well by extension of being part of the world of Harry Potter. That doesn't appear to be the case, and Fantastic Beasts 3 was delayed for rumored retooling.
It went from bad to worse with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic halting production and Eddie Redmayne refusing to condemn J.K. Rowling's extremely problematic TERF tweets and even defended her in the long run while Ezra Miller has been caught allegedly choking female fans. There is no word about whether or not Warner Bros. plans on giving us three more of these films, but in terms of a problematic cast and crew, this one is probably one of the worst. Mikkelsen is a good actor, though, and considering how hard he pushed for an LGBTQ+ relationship in Hannibal, maybe Fantastic Beasts 3 will take the subtext of Dumbledore and Grindelwald and make it text.
Fantastic Beasts 3 currently has a release date of July 15, 2022.