Stepping in. Mads Mikkelsen will officially take over as Gellert Grindelwald in the third Fantastic Beasts movie, following the ousting of Johnny Depp.
Warner Bros. Pictures confirmed the news to Deadline on Wednesday, November 25.
Depp, 57, starred in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. He was set to return for the third film, slated for a July 2022 release.
On November 6, Warner Bros. studio announced that he will be recast following allegations of abuse made by Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard.
“We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date,” the studio said in a statement at the time. “Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean star first shared the news via Instagram, four days after a judge ruled that he physically assaulted the 34-year-old Aquaman actress.
“In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement. Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty,” he wrote at the time. “I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days. Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request.”
The Golden Globe winner went on to deny the claims Heard made against him.
“The surreal judgement of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal. My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false,” Depp wrote. “My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time. Thank you for reading.”
On November 2, Judge Andrew Nicol from the Royal Courts of Justice in London ruled that The Sun’s 2018 article, which referred to the Sweeney Todd star as a “wife beater,” included “substantially true” allegations. Nicol added that there was sufficient evidence that Depp abused Heard at least 12 of the 14 times she claimed he did.
“I accept her evidence of the nature of the assaults he committed against her. They must have been terrifying,” the judge wrote in his 129-page judgment. “I accept that Mr. Depp put her in fear of her life.”
The former couple were married from 2015 to 2017.
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