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. Last 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. Mads Mikkelsen was recently confirmed to replace Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3 and commented on it to Entertainment Weekly.
"Well it's going to be me, so that's a difference," Mikkelsen quipped, then he got serious. "No, this is the tricky part. We're still working it out. There has to be a bridge between what Johnny did and what I'm going to do. And at the same time, I also have to make it my own. But also we have to find a few links [to the previous version of the character] and some bridges so it doesn't completely detach from what he's already masterfully achieved."
Mikkelsen was also asked about the unconventional circumstances he came about the Fantastic Beasts 3 role, and he appears to be giving his support to Depp and but to Heard as well.
"Job wise, it's obviously super interesting and nice," Mikkelsen said. "It's also a shocker that it came after what happened, which is just super sad. I wish both of them the best. These are sad circumstances. I hope both of them will be back in the saddle again really soon."
Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production and has a release date of July 14, 2022. However, it's unclear how many movies are still left in this series, considering how poorly the last one was received. Either way, it will be interesting to see what he does with this role; he plays villains extremely well.