Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald
Mads Mikkelsen as Grindelwald

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 fan art casts Mads Mikkelsen as dark wizard Grindelwald. The Fantastic Beasts films center around the misadventures of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). While much of the Fantastic Beasts 3 plot remains a mystery, the film is currently scheduled for a July 2022 premiere date.

Fantastic Beasts 3 has been thrust into the spotlight due to Johnny Depp’s exit. Depp previously played Grindelwald in both Fantastic Beasts and Fantastic Beasts 2. The actor is currently embroiled in a heated domestic abuse scandal with his former wife, Amber Heard. Both parties allege that the other has been verbally and physically abusive. On that note, Depp recently sued U.K. tabloid The Sun for calling him a “wife beater.” That being said, a judge ultimately ruled against Depp, which led to Warner Bros. asking the actor to leave Fantastic Beasts 3. While Depp has only filmed one scene, he will still receive his full salary, which makes this quite the costly decision for Warner Bros.

New fan art by digital artist apexform envisions Mikkelsen as Grindelwald. Apexform gives Mikkelsen the wizard’s trademark coiffed, silvery hair. Mikkelsen is sharply dressed, with a neatly trimmed goatee. He has a lizard-like creature curled around one shoulder, and his right eye glows an ominous silver. You can see apexform’s stunning creation below:

Mikkelsen is best known for his time on Hannibal, where he played the titular character to chilling perfection. That being said, Mikkelsen has actually been in talks to replace Depp as Grindelwald, and Fantastic Beasts 3 director David Yates is reportedly a huge fan of the actor. Although nothing has been set in stone quite yet, Mikkelsen has had his fair share of experience portraying villains. As such, he would almost certainly put his own unique spin on Grindelwald. Thanks to Mikkelsen’s prolific acting career, undeniable range, and wide fan base, he is an incredibly strong frontrunner to replace Depp.

In spite of the casting shake-up, shooting is underway for Fantastic Beasts 3. Redmayne confirms that the cast and crew are following strict health and safety protocols due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So far, it seems that things have been running smoothly, even if it’s been quite some time since the cast last worked together. While Depp’s exit from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 certainly throws a wrench in things, all eyes will be on the franchise to see who is cast as the next Grindelwald.