Mads Mikkelsen Thinks Johnny Depp Might Get Him Fired

Have the tables turned?

By Michileen Martin | Published

mads mikkselsen

When Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premiered earlier this year it was Mads Mikkelsen playing the villain Grindelwald rather than Johnny Depp, who originated the role in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Depp was pushed out of the role amidst the abuse allegations made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard. But now apparently Mikkelsen thinks the guy he replaced may be on his way back to replace him.

Deadline reports that while fielding questions at the Sarajevo Film Festival, Mads Mikkelsen confessed the idea of replacing Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald intimidated him, and said he thought — citing his case against Amber Heard — the Pirate of the Caribbean star might be coming back for Fantastic Beasts 4. “Obviously, well, now the course has changed—he won the suit, the court [case]—so let’s see if he comes back,” Mikkelsen said. “He might.”

Mads Mikkelsen also spoke highly of Johnny Depp and explained why in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, he didn’t look or really act anything like his predecessor. “I’m a big fan of Johnny,” Mikkelsen said. “I think he’s an amazing actor, I think he did a fantastic job. Having said that, I could not copy it. There’s there was no way I could just copy it, because it’s so much him. It would be creative suicide.”

From the way he makes it sound, Mads Mikkelsen got more than his share of flak from Johnny Depp fans for taking over the role. Still, he wasn’t unsympathetic. “His fans were very, very sweet, but they were also very stubborn,” the Hannibal star said. “I didn’t interact too much with them, but I could understand why they had their hearts broken.”

johnny depp
Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

While Mads Mikkelsen may or may not think Johnny Depp is on his way back, he might not want to pack his bags just yet. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore proved to be the worst performer of the franchise so far, managing a worldwide gross of $405 million, while the first film made more than twice as much. But of the failures the third Fantastic Beasts made, re-casting Grindelwald doesn’t seem to be one of them. In fact of the many negative reviews suffered by the latest Harry Potter film, most singled out both Mikkelsen and Jude Law’s Dumbledore as the two best reasons to watch the thing.

What could be more likely is that neither Mads Mikkelsen nor Johnny Depp would play Grindelwald again. Shortly after The Secrets of Dumbledore‘s release, there were rumors it could be the final entry of the series. Along with the most recent film underperforming at the box office, perhaps no other film franchise is as consistently under fire for one scandal after another than Fantastic Beasts. Ezra Miller is part of the current cast and J.K. Rowling is the creator and one of the screenwriters. Warner Bros will face scrutiny if they hire Johnny Depp back; they’ll face scrutiny if they don’t hire him back. At this rate, if they do make Fantastic Beasts 4, Warner Bros. may as well hire Woody Allen to direct it. Maybe get Alec Baldwin on board as a safety consultant.