Mads Mikkelsen: Trying to copy Johnny Depp for 'Fantastic Beasts 3' would be 'creative suicide' (exclusive)
Mads Mikkelsen says he didn't attempt to recreate Johnny Depp's performance as Gellert Grindelwald for Fantastic Beasts 3.
Johnny Depp resigned from the Harry Potter prequel film in November 2020 at the request of studio Warner Bros. in the wake of his failed libel case against The Sun newspaper which labelled him a ‘wife beater’. Casino Royale star Mikkelsen was announced as his replacement within a week, and has since completed production on the film.
"It’s a tricky thing and I’m not sure we’ll really get it right,” Mikkelsen told Yahoo about stepping into Depp's shoes while promoting his latest film, the darkly comedic revenge thriller Riders of Justice.
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“We’ll do our best. The worst thing you can do is try to copy what the previous actor did, especially when you have a talented actor, who I have been a fan of since I was a kid in Johnny Depp.”
“Don’t copy it,” he tells himself. “That is creative suicide. He did his thing, it was amazing. Let’s find a couple of bridges, and then make it our own – that’s the only way we can do it. The rest is just a strange comparison.”
In the Harry Potter universe, Grindelwald is an immensely powerful evil wizard, who is regarded as second only to Voldemort.
Fans had initially hoped Colin Farrell, who played a version of Grindelwald in 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, would replace Depp but his The Batman commitments ruled him out.
Fantastic Beasts 3, which sees the return of Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Jude Law and Ezra Miller, is scheduled for release on 15 July, 2022.
Riders of Justice will be released in cinemas and digitally on Friday, 23 July. Watch a trailer below.