Late last year, Johnny Depp announced that he would be leaving the Wizarding World franchise and would no longer be the antagonist of the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Soon rumors appeared about his deputy, which – contrary to the denials – turned out to be true. Mads Mikkelsen has taken over the role of Gellert Grindelwald. Recently, he commented on the interpretation of this character: he is going to do it his way.
In the film “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald“, the second part of the series’ prequels “Harry Potter“, Johnny Depp played the title Gellert Grindelwald: an antagonist and one of the most powerful wizards known by JK Rowling Wizarding World. The importance of this character will gradually increase; this is just the beginning of the story, and there is still quite a lot to be told. Grindelwald grew in strength for a long time before losing a duel with Albus Dumbledore in 1945 (“The Crimes” takes place in 1928). Not without significance is the fact that, at the height of his power, Grindelwald was far more formidable than Potter’s nemesis: Lord Voldemort.
The greater was the surprise and disappointment of the fans when Johnny Depp announced at the beginning of November 2020 that he would no longer play the role of a wizard.
Warner Bros. in a short statement, she announced recasting, which in the case of such a key character played by a very popular actor could be difficult for some to swallow. And yet the studio decided to cut off the notoriety of the actor, who had lost the case in a British court shortly before. The judge maintained that, given the abundant evidence, calling Depp a “martyr” was absolutely correct and was not defamatory. For many leading representatives of the film industry, a similar sentence is sufficient reason to distance themselves from the accused.
Warner Bros. asked the actor to resign from the role, and he respected this request. He also announced a further fight, the current state of which I informed about here. Meanwhile, the studio was faced with the difficult task of finding a worthy successor: an actor, on the one hand, matching the character, but also popular and liked. The range of options is not, contrary to appearances, so wide, but it soon turned out that the rumors coincide with the truth and despite strong denials (he could give himself a high five with Andrew Garfield) Mads Mikkelsen took over the role of Grindelwald.
Production for Part 3 began in London last September; Depp has already recorded something. Later, Mikkelsen appeared on the set, and many fans wondered how the Dane would treat this acting legacy and whether he was going to recreate the role of his predecessor, drawing heavily from his interpretation of the character and the way he played.
Mads Mikkelsen has dispelled the doubts in one of the latest interviews: he is going to play Grindelwald in his own way.
Of course, he does not mean to present a performance that is 100% detached from the previous interpretation, but he made it clear that he did not intend to copy anything. He stressed that no one would be interested in such a reenactment when “it had been done masterfully”. In his opinion, it would be an immediate and creative suicide. He added that he needed a certain bridge between what Depp did and what he intends to present himself: some similarities in certain situations should be kept, but everything should be done in his own way.
Everything else would just be stupid from a creative point of view
And he is one hundred percent right. Mikkelsen is a man and actor who behaves, acts and looks completely different from his predecessor. Trying to obtain a copy of the stage effect would not make sense, because the slightest differences would be striking in the eyes and the whole would sound false. Depp is no longer in the franchise, the actor’s fans have to come to terms with it and let Mikkelsen do his job, that is, present his interpretation. Although I personally admire the Dane’s acting skills and am sure he will offer viewers a brilliant idea for this role, I remember that he is under a lot of pressure and awareness of the dissatisfaction of the crowd of fans. All the more, malcontents should appreciate the actor’s approach as he moves in his direction, avoiding unintentional parody and in the best possible way respecting the role of Depp.
Mikkelsen faces a difficult task and it is certain that even with an Oscar-winning performance, he will not convince the fans of his older colleague. In recent years, the Dane has been enjoying successive triumphs, because he has succeeded in not easy: he made his way from Europe to the American mainstream. However, it cannot be denied that he fully deserved it, and although he is no longer the youngest, with all due respect, he aims higher and higher and still spreads his wings, taking advantage of new opportunities.
I am a huge fan of the Potter universe. This is something that in my part of the world is not touched at all. In Denmark, you cannot afford such a budget, so whenever the opportunity arose, I was going to take this fantastic opportunity.