Mads Mikkelsen wishes he could have spoken Johnny Depp about replacing him in Fantastic Beasts 3, the Hannibal actor revealed in a new interview. Depp was forced out from the franchise after losing his libel suit against The Sun, a British tabloid that referred to him as a “wife beater” in a story referencing allegations he had assaulted his ex-wife Amber Heard.
“I mean, obviously, they were going to do the film, and obviously he was not involved any more,” Mikkelsen said of Depp in The Sunday Times. “But I didn’t have a dog in that fight. And I don’t know what happened [in his private life], and I don’t know if it was fair, him losing the job, but I just knew that the show was going on, and I would’ve loved to have talked to him about it if I had the chance, but I just don’t know him in that sense.
“But they called me and they were obviously in a hurry, and I loved the script and so said yes. And I know it was controversial for many people, but that’s just the way it plays out once in a while,” he continued.”
Mikkelsen is set to bring to life the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the as-yet-unnamed third installment of the Harry Potter spin-off franchise. As far stepping into a new role that was already established prior by a different actor, Mikkelsen plans to make it his own.
“I didn’t want to copy what Johnny had done. I think he’s a masterful actor, so copying him would’ve been creative suicide,” he shared. “I had to figure out something that was definitely my own, and yet also act as a bridge to what he had done. My take is different, and the look is a little different, but we’ll have to wait for the film’s release [next year] to find out.”
Mikkelson previously discussed the news with EW last year.
“Job wise, it’s obviously super interesting and nice,” Mikkelsen said while promoting Another Round. “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.”
“The more you’ve been in the movie business the less you find yourself wearing your ‘fan hat’, and yet in this case it was there for a little while longer than most. It helps that Harrison is a really sweet man, and that everyone on set is aware that we are there, primarily, to do an Indiana Jones film,” Mikkelsen said.
Indiana Jones 5 is set to be released in the summer of 2022.