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Credit: NBC

Mads Mikkelsen confirmed to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 3

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Nov 25, 2020, 6:32 PM EST (Updated)

Expelliarmus! Mads Mikkelsen (Doctor Strange, Hannibal) is officially taking over Johnny Depp’s role as main antagonist Gellert Grindelwald in the third Fantastic Beasts movie.

Warner Bros. confirmed Mikkelsen's casting Wednesday in an announcement, setting the stage for the third installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, which is set to arrive in 2022.

The Wrap, meanwhile, reports that no scenes featuring the Grindelwald character will have to be reshot even as Mikkelsen takes over the role. 

Earlier this month, Deadline cited unnamed sources saying that Mikkelsen was director David Yates’ first pick to replace Depp, whom Warner Bros. asked to resign amid allegations of domestic abuse. Variety also later confirmed the news about Mikkelsen's potential involvement in the franchise.

Mikkelsen is well-versed in playing dark roles, given he has played Dr. Lecter on the fan-favorite series Hannibal, as well as Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) nemesis Kaecilius in the namesake MCU film chronicling the Sorcerer Supreme’s origin story. If cast, Mikkelsen will undoubtedly give his own sinister take to Grindelwald, who preys on people's fears in order to grow support for his grab for power. 

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

While the details of the third film remain unknown, Fantastic Beasts actor Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) has hinted that the movie will lead to a massive magical war that mirrors the conflict of World War II in the muggle world. Jude Law will continue to play Grindelwald's former friend and current nemesis, Albus Dumbledore, while Eddie Redmayne will also be back to play franchise lead, Newt Scamander. 

Part of the Harry Potter universe, the third Fantastic Beasts film went back into production this September after being put on hold due to COVID-19. It now has a new release date of July 15, 2022. 

This story was originally published on Nov. 11 and updated on Nov. 25.